Fn and Ft: MOR1597C TEXT
Author: Morley, Thomas
Title: A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, Third Part
Source: Thomas Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (London: Peter Short, 1597) [STC 18133], pp. 116-83, ff. Bb1r-Bb6v
Graphics: MOR1597C 01GF-MOR1597C 52GF
[-116-] The third part of the introduction to Musicke, treating of composing or setting of Songes.
Philomathes the Scholer. Polymathes.
Philomathes. WHat new and vnaccustomed passion, what strange humor or mind-changing opinion tooke you this morning (Brother Polymathes) causing you without making me acquainted so earlie bee gone out of your chamber? was it some fit of a feuer? or (which I rather beleeue) was it the sight of some of those faire faces (which you spied in your yester nights walke) which haue banished all other thoughts out of your minde, causing you thinke the night long and wish the daylight that thereby you might find some occasion of seeing your mistris? or any thing else, I pray you hide it not from me, for as hitherto I haue beene the secretary (as you say) of your verie thoughts: so if you conceale this I must thinke that either your affection towards me doth decrease, or else you begin to suspect my secrecy.
Polymathes. You are too gelous, for I protest I neuer hid any thing from you concerning eyther you or my selfe, and where as you talke of passions and mind-changing humours, those seldome trouble men of my constitution, and as for a feuer I know not what it is, and as for loue which you would seeme to thrust vpon me, I esteeme it as a foolish passion entering in emptie braines, and nourished with idle thoughtes, so as of all other things I most contemne it, so do I esteeme them the greatest fooles who bee therewith most troubled.
Philomathes. Soft (brother) you go farre, [Errata 22] the purest complexious are soonest infected, and the best wits soonest caught in loue, and to leaue out infinite examples of others, I could set before you those whom you esteemed cheefest in wisdome, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the very dog himselfe all snared in loue, but this is out of our purpose, shew me the occasion of this your timely departure?
Polymathes. I was informed yesternight that Maister Polybius did for his recreation euerie morning priuatelely in his owne house read a lecture of Ptolomey his great construction, and remembring that this morning (thinking the day farther spent then in deed it was) I hied me out thinking that if I had staied for you, I should haue come short: But to my [-117-] <no> small griefe I haue learned at his house that he is gone to the Vniuersitie to commence doctor in medicine.
Philomathes. I am sorry for that: but we wil repaire that domage an other waie.
Polymathes. As how?
Philomathes. Employing those houres which we would haue bestowed in hearing of him in learning of musicke.
Polymathes. A good motion: for you haue so well profited in so short space in that art, that the world may see that both you haue a good master and a quicke conceit.
Philomathes. If my wit were so quicke as my master is skilfull, I should quickly become excellent, but the day runneth away, shal we go?
Polymathes. With a good will: what a goodly morning is this, how sweet is this sunne shine? cleering the ayre and banishing the vapours which threatned raine.
Philomathes. You say trew, but I feare me I haue slept so long that my maister wil either begone about some businesse, or then wil be so troubled with other schollers, that we shall hardly haue time to learne any thing of him. But in good time, I see him comming from home with a bundle of papers in his bosome, I will salute him: Good morrow maister.
Master. Scholler Philomathes? God giue you good morrow, I maruailed that since our last meeting (which was so long ago) I neuer heard any thing of you.
Philomathes. The precepts which at that time you gaue me, were so many and diuerse that they required long time to put them in practise, and that hath beene the cause of my so long absence from you, but now I am come to learn that which resteth, and haue brought my brother to be my schoolefellow.
Master. He is hartily welcome, and now wil I breake off my intended walke and returne to the house with you. But hath your brother proceeded so far as you haue done?
Philomathes. I pray you aske himselfe, for I know not what hee hath, but before I knew what discant was, I haue heard him sing vpon a plainesong.
Polymathes. I could haue both song vpon a plainsong, and beganne to set three or foure parts, but to no purpose, because I was taken from it by other studies, so that I haue forgotten those rules which I had giuen me for setting, though I haue not altogether forgotten my discant.
Master. Who taught you?
Polymathes. One maister Boulde.
Master. I haue heard much talke of that man, and because I would know the tree by the fruit, I pray you let me heare you sing a lesson of discant.
Polymathes. I wil if it please you to giue me a plainsong?
Master. Here is one sing vpon it.
[Morley, Introduction, 117,1] [MOR1597C 01GF]
[Morley, Introduction, 117,2] [MOR1597C 01GF]
Philomathes. Brother if your discanting bee no better then that, you will gaine but small credit by it.
[-118-] Polymathes. I was so taught, and this kind of discanting was by my maister allowed, and esteemed as the best of all descant.
Philomathes. Who euer gaue him his name hath either foreknown his destinie, or then hath well and perfectlie read Plato his Cratylus.
Polymathes. Why so?
Philomathes. Because there bee such bolde taking of alowances as I durst not haue taken if I had feared my maisters displeasure.
Master. Why wherein do you disallow them?
Philomathes. First of all in the second note is taken a discord for the first part of the note, and not in the best manner nor in binding: the like faulte is in the fifth note, and as for the two notes before the close, the end of the first is a discord to the ground, and the beginning of the next likewise a discord, but I remember when I was practising with you, you did set me a close thus,
[Two discords together condemned. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 118,1] [MOR1597C 01GF]
which you did so farre condemne as that (as you saide) there could not readily bee a worse made, and though my brothers bee not the verie same, yet is it Cosin germaine to it, for this descendeth where his ascendeth, and his descendeth where this ascendeth, that in affect they be both one.
Polymathes. Do you then find fault with the first part of the second note.
Philomathes. Yea, and iustly.
Polymathes. It is the fuge of the plainsong, and the point will excuse the harshnesse, and so likewise in the fift note, for so my maister taught me.
Philomathes. [Harsh cordes not to be taken for the pointes sake. in marg.] But I was taught otherwise, and rather then I would haue committed so grosse ouersights I would haue left out the point, although here both the point might haue beene brought in otherwise, and those offences left out.
Master. I pray you (good master Polymathes) sing an other lesson.
[Proportions are not ridiculously to be taken. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 118,2; text: 61] [MOR1597C 01GF]
[-119-] Philomathes. I promise you (brother) you are much beholding to Sellingers round for that beginning of yours, and your ending you haue taken Sesqui paltry very right.
Master. You must not be so ready to condemne him for that, seeing it was the fault of the time, not of his sufficiencie, which causeth him to sing after that manner, for I my selfe being a childe haue heard him highly commended, who coulde vpon a plainesong sing hard proportions, harsh allowances, and countrey daunces, and hee who could bring in maniest of them was counted the iollyest fellowe, but I would faine see you (who haue those Argus eies in spying faults in others) make away of your own, for perchance there might likewise be a hole (as they saie) found in your owne cote.
Philomathes. I would bee ashamed of that, specially hauing had so many good preceptes and practising them so long.
Polymathes. I pray you then set downe one that we may see it.
Philomathes. Here it is, and I feare not your censure.
[The fuge of the first lesson brought in without bad allowances. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 119,1] [MOR1597C 02GF]
Polymathes. You neede not, but I praie you maister helpe mee for I can spie no faulte in it.
Master. Nor I, and by this lesson (scholer Phylomathes), I perceiue that you haue not been idle at home.
Polymathes. Indeede nowe that I haue perused it, I cannot but commend it for the point of the plainesong is euery way maintained, and without any taking of harsh cordes.
Master. That is the best manner of descanting, but shall I heare you sing a lesson of base descant.
Polymathes. As many as you list, so you will haue them after my fashion.
Master. It was for that I requested it, therefore sing one.
[Morley, Introduction, 119,2] [MOR1597C 02GF]
[-120-] Master. The first part of your lesson is tolerable and good, but the ending is not so good, for the end of your ninth note is a discord, and vpon another discord you haue begun the tenth breaking Priscians, head to the very brain, but I know you will go about to excuse the beginning of your tenth note in that it is in binding wise, [Binding no excuse for two discords together. in marg.] but though it bee bound it is in fetters of rusty yron, not in the chaines of goulde, for no eare hearing it, but will at the first hearing loth it: and though it bee the point, yet might the point haue beene as neerely follewed in this place, not causing snch offense to the ear. And to let you see with what little alteration, you might haue auoided so great an inconuenience, here be al your owne notes of the fifth bar in the very same substance as you had them, though altered somewhat in time and forme,
[Morley, Introduction, 120] [MOR1597C 02GF]
therefore if you meane to followe musicke any further, I woulde wish you to leaue those harsh allowances, but I pray you how did you becom so ready in this kind of singing.
Polymathes. It would require a long discourse to shew you all.
Master. I pray you trusse vp that long discourse in so fewe wordes as you may, and let vs heare it.
Philomathes. [Errata 23] Be then attentiue, when I learned descant of my maister Bould, hee seeing me so toward and willing to learne, euer had me in his companie, and because he continually carried a plainsong booke in his pocket, hee caused me doe the like, and so walking in the fieldes, he would sing the plainsong, and cause me sing the descant, and when I song not to his contentment, he would shew me wherein I had erred, there was also another descanter, a companion of my maisters, who neuer came in my maisters companie (though they weare much conuersant together) but they fel to contention, striuing who should bring in the point soonest, and make hardest proportions, so that they thought they had won g<r>eat glorie if they had brought in a point sooner, or sung harder proportions the one then the other: but it was a worlde to heare them wrangle, euerie one defending his owne for the best. What? (saith the one) you keepe not time in your proportions, you sing them false (saith the other) what proportion is this? (saith hee) Sesquipaltery saith the other, nay (would the other say) you sing you know not what, it should seeme you came latelie from a barber's shop, where you had *Gregory Walker, [*That name in derision they haue giuen this quadrant pauan, because it walketh amongst the barbars and fidlers more common then any other in marg.] or a Curranta plaide in the newe proportions by them latelie found out, called Sesquiblinda, and Sesqui harken after, so that if one vnacquainted with musicke had stood in a corner and heard them, he would haue sworne they had beene out of their wittes, so earnestlie did they wrangle for a trifle, and in truth I my selfe haue thought sometime that they would haue gone to round buffets with the matter, for the descant bookes were made Angels, but yet fistes were no visiters of eares, and therefore all parted friendes: but to say the very truth, this Poliphemus had a verie good sight (speciallie for treble descant) but very bad vtterance, for that his voice his voice was the worst that euer I heard, and though of others he were esteemed verie good in that kinde, yet did none thinke better of him then hee did of himselfe, for if one had named and asked his opinion of the best composers liuing at this time, hee woulde say in a vaine glory of his owne sufficiencie, tush, tush (for these were his vsuall wordes) he is a proper man, but he is no descanter, hee is no descanter there is no stuffe in him, I will not giue two pinnes for him except he hath descant.
Philomathes. What? can a composer be without descant?
Master. No: but it should seeme by his speech that except a name be so drownd in descant that he can do nothing else in musik but wrest and wring in hard points vpon a plainsong, they would not esteeme him a descanter, but though that be the Cyclops his opinion he must [-121-] giue vs leaue to follow it if we list, for we must not thinke but hee that can formally and artificiallie put there foure, fiue, six or more parts together, may at his ease sing one part vpon a ground without great studie, for that singing extempore vpon a plainsong is in deede a peece of cunning, and very necessarie to be perfectly practised of him who meaneth to be a composer for bringing of a quick sight, yet is it a great absurditie so to seeke for a sight, as to make it the end of our studie applying it to no other vse, for as a knife or other instrument not being applied to the end for which it was deuised (as to cut) is vnprofitable and of no vse, euen so is descant, which being vsed as a helpe to bring readie sight in setting of parts is profitable, but not being applied to that ende is of it selfe like a puffe of wind, which being past commeth not againe, which hath beene the reason that the excellent musitions haue discontinued it, although it be vnpossible for them to compose without it, but they rarher employ their time in makiug of songes, which remaine for the posterity then to sing descant which is no longer known then the singers mouth is open expressing it, and for the most part cannot be twise repeated in one maner.
Philomathes. That is true, but I pray you brother proceede with the cause of your singing of descant in that order.
Polymathes. This Polyphemus carrying such name for descant, I thought it best to imitate him, so that euery lesson which I made was a counterfet of som of his, for at all times and at euery occasion I would foist in some of his points which I had so perfectly in my head as my pater noster, [A course not to be disliked if it had beene done with iudgement. in marg.] and because my maister himselfe did not dislike that course I continued still therein, but what saide I? dislike it hee did so much like it as euer where he knewe or found any such example he would wright it out for me to imitate it.
Master. I pray you set downe two or three of those examples.
Polymathes. Here be some which he gaue me as authorites wherewith to defend mine owne.
[Hyme. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 121; text: Iste confessor.] [MOR1597C 02GF]
[-122-] [Morley, Introduction, 122,1] [MOR1597C 03GF]
Master. Such lips, such lettus, such authoritie, such imitation, but is this maister Boulds owne descant?
Polymathes. The first is his own, the second he wrote out of a verse of two partes of an Agnus dei, of one Henry Rysbie, and recommended it to me for a singular good one, the third is of one Piggot, but the two last I haue forgotten whose they bee, but I haue heard them highly commended by many who bore the name of great discanters.
Master. The authors were skilful men for the time wherein they liued, but as for the examples he might haue kept them al to himselfe, for they bee all of one mould, and the best starke naught, therefore leaue imitating of them and such like, [In musick both the eare is to be pleased and art shewed. in marg.] and in your musicke seeke to please the eare as much as shew cunning, although it be greater cunning both to please the eare and expresse the point, then to maintaine the point alone with offence to the eare.
Polymathes. That is true in deede, but seeing that such mens workes are thus censured, I cannot hope any good of mine owne, and therefore before you proceede to any other purpose, I must craue your iudgement of a lesson of descant which I made long ago, aud in my conceit at that time I thought it excellent, but nowe I feare it will bee found scant passable.
Philomathes. I pray you let vs here it, and then you shall quickly heare mine opinion of it.
Polymathes. It was not your opinion which I craued, but our maisters iudgement.
Master. Then shew it me?
Polymathes. Here it is, and I pray you declare al the faults which you find in it.
[Faults in this lesson. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 122,2] [MOR1597C 03GF]
[-123-] Master. First that discord taken for the first part of the second note is not good ascending in that maner, secondly the discorde taken for the last part of the fift note, and another discord for the beginning of the next is very harsh and naught, thirdly the discord taken for the beginning of the tenth note is naught, it and all the other notes following are the same thing which weare in the beginning without any difference, sauing that they are foure notes higher, lastlie your close you haue taken thrise before in the same lesson a grosse fault in sixteene notes, to sing one thing foure times ouer.
Philomathes. I would not haue vsed such ceremonies to anotomise euery thing particularlie, but at a word I would haue flung it awaie, and said it was starke naught.
Polymathes. Soft swift, you who are so ready to find faultes, I pray you let vs see howe you can mend them, maintaining the point in euerie note of the plainsong as I haue done?
Philomathes. Many waies without the fuge and with the fuge, easely thus. [The fomer lessons bettered. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 123] [MOR1597C 03GF]
Polymathes. But you haue remooued the plainesong into the treble, and caused it rest two whole semibreues.
Philomathes. You cannot blame me for that, seeing I haue neither added to it, nor paired from it, and I trust when I sing vpon a plainsong I may chuse whether I will sing treble or base discant.
Polymathes. You saie true.
Master. But why haue you made it in a maner all counterpoint, seeing there was enough of other shift.
Philomathes. Because I saw none other waie to expresse euerie note of the plainesong.
Master. But there is an other way to expresse euery note of the plainsong, breaking it but verie little, and therefore find it out.
Polymathes. If I can find it out before you, I wil thinke my selfe the better descanter.
Philomathes. Doe so.
Polymathes. Faith I wil leaue further seeking for it, for I cannot find it.
Philomathes. Nor I.
Polymathes. I am glad of that, for it would haue grieued me if you should haue founde it out and not I.
Philomathes. You be like vnto those who reioise at the aduersity of others, though it do not any thing profit themselues.
Polymathes. Not so, but I am glad that you can see no further into a milstone then my selfe, and therefore I wil plucke vp my spirits (which before was so much dulled, not by mine owne fault, but by the fault of them who taught me) and Audere aliquid breuibus gyaris et carcere dignum, because I meane to be aliquid.
Philomathes. So you shal, though you be a dunce perpetually.
Polymathes. That I denie as vnpossible in that sence as it was spoken.
Master. These reasoninges are not for this place, and therefore againe to your lesson of Descant.
Polymathes. We haue both giuen it ouer as not to be found out by vs, and thereupon grew our iarre.
[-124-] Master. Then here it is, though either of you might haue found out a greater matter, and because you caueled at his remouing the plainesong to the treble, here I haue set it (as it was before) lowest,
[Morley, Introduction, 124,1] [MOR1597C 04GF]
you may also vpon this plainesong make a way wherein the descant may sing euerie note of the ground twise, which though it shew some sight and maistry, yet will not be so sweet in the eare as others.
Philomathes. I pray you sir satisfie my curiositie in that point and shew it vs.
Master. Here it is,
[Morley, Introduction, 124,2] [MOR1597C 04GF]
and though it go harsh in the eare, yet be there not such allowances in taking of descordes vsed in it as might anie waie offende, but the vnpleasantnesse of it commeth of the wresting in of the point, for seeking to repeat the plainsong, againe the musicke is altered in the aire, seeming as it were another song which doth disgrace it so far as nothing more, and though a man (conceiting himselfe in his own skil, and glorying in that he can deceiue the hearer) should at the first sight sing such a one as this is, yet another standing by, and perchance a better musicion then he, not knowing his determination and hearing that vnpleasantnesse of the musicke might iustly condemne it as offensiue to the eare, then woulde the descanter alledge for his defence that it were euerie note of the plainsong twise song ouer, and this or some such like would they thinke a sufficient reason to moue them to admit anie harshnes, or inconuenient in musicke, what soeuer which hath beene the cause that our musicke in times past hath neuer giuen such contentment to the auditor as that of latter time, because the composers of that age making no accoumpt of the ayre nor of keeping their key, followed only that vaine of wresting in much matter in small boundes so that seeking to shewe cunning in following of points they mist the marke, where at euerie skilful musition doth cheefely shoote, which is to shew cunning with delightfulnesse and pleasure, you may also make a lesson of descant, [-125-] which may be song to two plainsongs, although the plainesonges doth not agree one with another, which although it seeme verie harde to [Errata 24] them at the first, yet hauing the rule of making it declared vnto you, it will seeme as easie in the making as to sing a common way of descant, although to sing it at the first sight wil be somwhat harder because the eie must be troubled with two plainsongs at once.
Polymathes. That is strange so to sing a part as to cause two other dissonant parts agree.
Master. You mistake my meaning, for both the plainesonges must not be sung at once, but I meane if there be two plainesonges giuen, to make a lesson which will agree with either of them, by themselues but not with both at once.
Polymathes. I pray you giue vs an example of that.
Master. Here is the plainesong whereupon we song, with another vuder it taken at all aduentures,
[Morley, Introduction, 125] [MOR1597C 04GF]
now if you sing the descanting part it wilbe true to any one of them.
Polymathes. This is pretie, therefore I pray you giue vs the rules which are to be obserued in the making of it.
Master. Hauing any two plainesongs giuen you, you must consider what corde the one of them is to the orher, so that if they be in an vnison, then may your descant be a 3. 5. 6. 8. 10. 12. or 15. to the lowest of them, but if the plainesonges bee distant by a second or ninth, then must your descant bee a 6. or a 13. to the lowest of them, moreouer, if your plainesongs stand still in secondes or ninthes, then of force must your descant stand still in sixts, because there is no other shifts of concord to be had, if your plainesongs be distant by a thirde, then may your descant be a 5. 8. 10. 12. or 15. to the lowest, and if your plainsonges be distant by a fourth, then may your descant bee a sixth 8. 13. or 15. to the lowest of them, likewise if your plainesongs bee a fifth one to another, your descant may be a 3. or 5. to the lowest of them, but if your plainesongs be in the sixth, then may your discant be an 8. 10 15. or 17. to the lowest of them: lastly, if your plainsongs be distant a seuenth, then may your descant be only a twelfth, also you must note that if the plainsongs come from a fifth to a second, the lower part ascending two notes, and the higher falling one (as you may see in the last note of the sixth bar, and first of the seuenth of the example) then of force must your descant fall from the tenth to the sixt with the lower plainesong, and from the sixth to the fith with the higher, and though that falling from the sixth to the fiftth, both partes descending be not tolerable in other musicke, yet in this we must make a vertue of necessitie, and take such allowances as the rule wil afford.
Philomathes. This is well, but our comming hither at this time was not for descant, and as for you (brother) it will bee an easie matter for you to leaue the vse of such harsh cordes in your descant, so you wil but haue a little more care not to take that which first commeth in your head.
Polymathes. I will auoide them so much as I can hereafter, but I pray you maister before wee proceede to any other matter, shal I here you sing a lesson of base descant?
Master. If it please you sing the plainsong.
[-126-] [Morley, Introduction, 126,1] [MOR1597C 05GF]
Philomathes. Here is an instruction for vs (brother) to cause our base descant be stirring.
Polymathes. I would I could so easely imitate it as marke it.
Philomathes. But nowe (maister) you haue sufficientlie examined my brother Polymathes, and you see he hath sight enough, so that it will be needlesse to insist any longer in teaching him descant, therefore I pray you proceede to the declaration of the rules of setting.
Master. They bee fewe and easie to them that haue descant, for the same alowances are to be taken, and the same faults which are to be shunned in descant must bee auoided in setting also. And because the setting of two parts is not very farre distant from singing of descant, we will leaue to speake of it and goe to three partes, and although these precepts of setting of three parts wil be in a maner superfluous to you, (Philomathes) because to make two parts vpon a plainesong is more hard then to make three partes into voluntary, yet because your brother either hath not practised that kinde of descant, or perchance hath not beene taught how to practise it, I will set downe those rules which may serue him both for descant and voluntary, and therefore to bee breefe peruse this Table wherein you may see all the waies whereby concords may be set together in three parts, and though I do in it talke of fifteenth and seuententhes, yet are these cordes seldome to be taken in three parts except of purpose you make your song of much compas and so you may take what distances you will, but the best maner of composing three voices or how many soeuer is to cause the parts go close.
[Morley, Introduction, 126,2; text: A Table containing the cordes which are to bee vsed in the compositon of songes for three voices. If your base bee an vnison or 8. to the tenor, then may your Alto be a 3. 5. 6. 8. 10. 12. or 15. to the base. If your base bee a thirde vnder your tenor, the Altus may bee a 5. 6. 12. or 13. aboue the base.] [MOR1597C 05GF]
[-127-] [Morley, Introduction, 127,1; text: And if your Base bee a fifth to the tenor, your Altus maie bee a 3. 8. 10. 12. or 15. to the base. But if your base bee a sixth to the tenor, then must your Altus be a 3. 8. 10. or 15. to the base.] [MOR1597C 05GF]
Polymathes. I pray you giue me an example which I may imitate.
[Morley, Introduction, 127,2] [MOR1597C 06GF]
Master. Let this suffice for one at this time, and when you come to practise, let the third, fift, and sixth (sometimes also an eight) bee your vsuall cords because they bee the sweetest, and bring most varietie, the eight is in three parts seldome to be vsed, except in passing maner or at a close, and because of all other closes the Cadence is the most vsuall (for without a Cadence in some one of the parts, either with a discord or without it, it is vnpossible formallie to close) if you carrie your Cadence in the tenor part you may close all these waies following and manie others, and as for those waies which here you see marked with a starre thus * they be passing closes, which we commonly cal false closes, being deuised to shun a final end and go on with some other purpose, and these passing closes be of two kinds in the base part, that is, either ascending or descending, if the passing close descend in the base it commeth to the sixth, if it ascend it commeth to the tenth or third, as in some of these examples you may see.
[Morley, Introduction, 127,3] [MOR1597C 06GF]
[-128-] [Morley, Introduction, 128,1] [MOR1597C 06GF]
If you carrie your Cadence in the base part, yon may close with any of these waies following the marke stil shewing that which it did before, and as concerning the rule which I tould you last before of passing closes if your base be a Cadence (as your tenor was before not going vnder the base) then will the rule bee contrarie, for whereas before your base in your false closing did descend to a sixt, nowe must your Altus or Tenor (because sometime the Tenor is aboue the Altus) ascend to the sixth or thirteenth and descend to the tenth or third, as here following you may perceiue.
[Morley, Introduction, 128,2] [MOR1597C 07GF]
But if your Cadence be in the Alto, then may you choose any of these waies following for your end, the signe stil shewing the false close, which may not be vsed at a finall or full close, and though it hat beene our vse in times past to end vpon the sixt with the base in our songes, and speciallie in our Canons, yet is it not to bee vsed but vpon an extremitie of Canon, but by the contrary to be shunned as much as may be, and because it is almost [-129-] euerie where out of vse, I will cease to speake any more against it at this time, but turne you to the perusing of these examples following.
[Morley, Introduction, 129,1] [MOR1597C 07GF]
Thus much for the composition of the three [Errata 25] parts, it followeth to shew you howe to make foure, therefore here be two parts, make in two other middle partes to them, and make them foure.
Philomathes. Nay, seeing you haue giuen vs a table of three, I pray you giue vs one of foure also.
Master. Then (that I may discharge my selfe of giuing you any more tables) here is one which wil serue you for the composition not only of foure parts, but of how many else it shal please you, for when you compose more then foure parts, you do not put to anie other part, but double some of those foure, that is, you either make two trebles or two meanes, or two tenors, or two bases: and I haue kept in the table this order. First to set down the cord which the treble maketh with the tenor, next how far the base may be distant from the tenor, so that these three parts being so ordained, I set down what cordes the Alto must be to them to make vp the harmony perfect, you must also note that somtimes you find set down for the Alto more then one cord, in which case the cordes may serue not only for the Alto but also for such other parts as may be added to the foure, nor shal you find the Alto set in an vnison or eight with any of the other parts, except in foure places, because that when the other parts haue amongst themselues the fifth and thirde, or their eights of necessitie such parts as shalbe added to them (let them be neuer so many) must bee in the eight or vnison, with some of the three afore named, therefore take it and peruse it diligentlie.
[Morley, Introduction, 129,2; text: A Table containing the vsuall cordes for the composition of foure or more partes. OF THE VNISON. If the treble be an vnison with the tenor and the base a third vnder the tenor your Alto or meane shal be a fifth or sixth aboue the base. but if the base be a fifth vnder the tenor the Alto shal be a third or tenth aboue the base. Likewise if the base be a sixt vnder the tenor, then the Alto may be a 3 or tenth aboue the base And if the base be an eight vnder the tenor, the other parts may bee a 3. 5. 6 10 or 12. aboue the base. But if the base be a tenth vnder the tenor, the meane shal be a fift or twelfth aboue the base.] [MOR1597C 07GF]
[-130-] [Morley, Introduction, 130; text: But if the base be a twelfth vnder the tenor, the Alto may be made a 3. or 10. aboue the base. Also the base being a fifteenth vnder the tenor, the other parts may be a 3. 5. 6. 10. 12. and 13. aboue the base. OF THE THIRD. If the treble be a third with the tenor and the base a third vnder it the Alto may be an vnison or 8. with the parts. If the base be a sixt vnder the tenor, the Altus may be a third or tenth aboue the base. But if the base be an eight vnder the tenor, then the Altus shall be a fift or sixt aboue the base. And the base being a tenth vnder the tenor, then the parts may be in the vnison or eight to the tenor or base. OF THE FOVRTH. When the treble shalbe a fourth to the tenor and the basse a fifth vnder the tenor then the meane shall be a 3, or 10, aboue the base But if the base be a 12. vnder the tenor the Altus shal be a 10. aboue the base OF THE FIFTH. But if the treble shal be a fifth aboue the tenor and the base an eight vnder it the Alto may be a 3 or tenth aboue the base And if the base be a sixt vnder the tenor, the Altus shal be an vnison or 8 with the parts OF THE SIXTH. If the treble be a sixt with the tenor and the base a fift vnder the tenor, the Altus may be an vnison or eight with the partes But if the base be a third vnder the tenor, the Altus shal be a fifth aboue be base. Likewise if the base be a tenth vnder the tenor, the meane likewise shalbe a fifth or 12. aboue the base. OF THE EIGHT. If the treble be an 8. with the tenor. and the base a 3. vnder the tenor the other parts shal be a 3. 5. 6. 10. 12. 13. aboue the base So also when the base shal be a 5. vnder the tenor the other parts may bee a 3. aboue the base. And if the base be an eight vnder the tenor the other parts shall bee a 3 5 10. 12. aboue the base. Lastly if the base be a 12. vnder the tenor the parts shal make a 10. or 17. aboue the base.] [MOR1597C 08GF]
Here be also certaine examples whereby you may perceiue, your base standing in any key, how the rest of the partes (being but foure) may stand vnto it: both going close and in wider distances.
[-131-] [Morley, Introduction, 131] [MOR1597C 09GF]
[-132-] Lastlie, here be examples of formall closes in foure, fiue and sixe partes, wherein you must note that such of them as be marked with this marke * serue for middle closes, such as are commonlie taken at the ende of the first part of a song, the other bee finall closes whereof such as bee suddaine closes belong properlie to light musicke, as Madrigals, Canzonets, Pauins and Galliards, wherein a semibtiefe will be enough to Cadence vpon, but if you list you may draw out your Cadence or close to what length you wil. As for the Motets and other graue musick you must in them come with more deliberation in bindings and long notes to the close.
[Morley, Introduction, 132] [MOR1597C 10GF]
[-133-] [Morley, Introduction, 133] [MOR1597C 11GF]
[-134-] [Morley, Introduction, 134] [MOR1597C 12GF]
[-135-] [Morley, Introduction, 135; text: Closes of fiue voices.] [MOR1597C 13GF]
[-136-] [Morley, Introduction, 136] [MOR1597C 14GF]
[-137-] [Morley, Introduction, 137] [MOR1597C 15GF]
[-138-] [Morley, Introduction, 138] [MOR1597C 16GF]
[-139-] [Morley, Introduction, 139] [MOR1597C 17GF]
[-140-] [Morley, Introduction, 140; text: Closes of sixe voices.] [MOR1597C 18GF]
[-141-] [Morley, Introduction, 141] [MOR1597C 19GF]
[-142-] [Morley, Introduction, 142] [MOR1597C 20GF]
And though you haue here some of euerie sort of closes, yet wil not I say that here is the tenth part of those which either you your selfe may deuise hereafter, or may finde in the works of other men, when you shall come to peruse them, for if a man woulde go about to set down euerie close, hee might compose infinit volumes without hitting the mark which he shot at, but let these suffice for your present instruction, for that by these you may finde out an infinite [Errata 26] of other which may be particular to your selfe.
Philomathes. Nowe seeing you haue aboundantlie satisfied my desire in shewing vs such profitable tables and closes, I pray you goe forwarde with that discourse of yours which I interrupted.
[-143-] Master. Then (to go to the matter roundly without circumstances) here be two parts make in two middle partes to them and make them foure, and of all other cordes leaue not out the fifth, the eight and the tenth, and looke which of those two (that is the eight or the tenth) commeth nexte to the treble that set vppermost:
[Generall rules for setting. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 143,1] [MOR1597C 21GF]
[A caueat for the sixth. How the fift and sixt may be both vsed together. in marg.] but when you put in a sixt then of force must the fift bee left out, except at a Cadence or close where a discorde is taken thus, which is the best manner of closing, and the onelie waie of taking the fifth and sixth together.
Philomathes. I thinke I vnderstand that for proofe whereof here bee wo [Errata 27] other parts to those which you haue set downe.
[Morley, Introduction, 143,2] [MOR1597C 21GF]
Master. Indeed you haue taken great paines about them, [Faults controuled in this lesson. in marg.] for in the second and thirde notes you haue taken two eightes betwixt the tenor and base part, which faulte is committed by leauing out the tenth in your second note in the tenor, for the eight you had before betwixt the base and treble, in your third note you haue a flat Cadence in your counter tenor, which is a thing against nature, for euerie Cadence is sharpe, but some may replie that all these three following.
[-144-] [Morley, Introduction, 144,1] [MOR1597C 21GF]
(the first whereof hath onelie one Cadence, in the treble, the second hath two Cadences together, the one in the treble, the other in the counter, in the thirde, the meane counter and tenor Cadence all at once) bee flat Cadences: which thing though it might require long disputation for solution of many arguments which to diuerse purposes might be brought, yet will I leaue to speake any more of it at this time, but only that they be al three passing closes, and not of the nature of yours, which is a kind of ful or final close although it be commonlie vsed both in passing maner in diuers places of your composition, and finally at the close, but if your base ascende halfe a note thus,
[Morley, Introduction, 144,2] [MOR1597C 21GF]
any of the other parts making Syncopation (which we abusiuely cal a Cadence) then of force must your Syncopation be in that order as the first of the aforeshewed examples is, the other two not hauing that necessitie be not in such common vse, though being aptlie taken they might in some places bee both vsed and allowed, but of this too much, therefore to returne to the other faultes of your lesson, in your fifth and sixth notes, your base and counter make two eights, and the base and tenor two fifts, likewise in the ninth note you haue in your tenor part a sharpe eight, which fault I gaue you in your descant to bee auoided: but if you had made the tenor part an eight to the treble it had beene farre better: Last of all your eleuenth and twelfth notes bee two fifthes in the tenor and base.
Polymathes. Brother me thinketh your setting is no better then my descanting.
Philomathes. It were well if it were so good, for then could I in a moment make it better, but I pray you (master) shew me howe these faults may bee auoided hereafter, for that I haue obserued your rule euery where sauing in the second and twelfth notes in the tenor part.
[Morley, Introduction, 144,3] [MOR1597C 21GF]
Master. In this example you may see al your ouersights mended.
Polymathes. [Obiection. in marg.] But when your base and treble do ascend in tenths, as in the fifth and sixth note of this example, if you must not leaue out the fifth and the eight, I see no other but it will fall out to bee two eights betwixt the base and counter, and likewise two fiftes betwixt the base and tenor.
[-145-] Master. Then for auoiding of that faulte, take this for a generall rule, that when the base and treble ascend so in tenthes, then must the tenor bee the eight to the treble in the second note as for example:
[Solution with rules for true ascending or descending. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 145,1] [MOR1597C 22GF]
but by the contrary, if the base and treble descend in the tenthes [Errata 28] then must the tenor bee the eight to the treble in the first of them: example.
[Morley, Introduction, 145,2] [MOR1597C 22GF]
Philomathes. [The middle parts may go one through another. in marg.] These bee necessary good rules and easie to be vnderstood, but may you carrie your tenor part higher then your counter as you haue don in your example of tenths ascending.
Master. You may.
Philomathes. But what needed it, seeing you might haue caused the counter sing those notes which the tenor did, and contrary the tenor those which the counter did.
Master. [For what reason one part may sing that which the other may not. in marg.] No, for if I had placed the fourth note of the tenor in the counter, and the fourth note of the counter in the tenor, then had the third and fourth notes beene two fiftes betwixt the counter and the treble, and the fourth and fifth notes beene two eightes betweene the tenor and treble.
Philomathes. You say true, and I was a foole who could not conceiue the reason thereof before you told it me, but why did you not set the fourth note of the tenor in C sol fa vt, seeing it is a fifth and good in the eare.
Master. [Comming from the eighth to the fifth both parts ascending naught. in marg.] Because (although it were sufferable) it were not good to skip vp to the fifth in that manner, but if it were taken descending, then were it very good thus.
[Morley, Introduction, 145,3] [MOR1597C 22GF]
Philomathes. This example I like very wel for these reasons, for (brother) if you marke the artifice of the composition you shall see that as the treble ascendeth fiue notes, so the tenor descendeth fiue notes likewise, the binding of the third and fourth notes in the tenor, the base ascending from a sixth to a fifth, causeth that sharpe fifth to shew very wel in the eare, and it must needes bee better then if it had beene taken ascending in the first way as I desired to haue had it, last of all the counter in the last foure notes dooth answere the base in fuge from the second note to the fifth, but now I will trie to make foure parts al of mine owne inuention.
[-146-] Polymathes. Take heed of breaking Priscian's head, for if you do I assure you (if I perceiue it) I will laugh as hartily at it as you did at my Sellengers round.
Philomathes. I feare you not, but maister how like you this?
[Morley, Introduction, 146,1] [MOR1597C 22GF]
Master. Well for your first triall, but why did you not put the sixth, seuenth and eight notes of the tenor eight notes higher, and set them in the counterpart, seeing they woulde haue gone neerer to the treble then that counter which you haue set downe?
Philomathes. Because I should haue gone out of the compasse of my lines.
Master. I like you well for that reason, but if you hadde liked the other waie so well you might haue altered your cliffes thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 146,2] [MOR1597C 22GF]
whereby you should both haue had scope enough to bring vp your partes, and caused them come closer together, which woulde so much the more haue graced your example: for the closer the partes goe the better is the hermony, and when they stande farre asunder the harmonie vanisheth, [The parts must be close, so that no other may be put in betwixt them. in marg.] therefore hereafter studie so much as you can to make your partes goe close together, for so shall you both shew most art, and make your compositions fittest for the singing of all companies.
Philomathes. I will, but why do you smile?
Master. Let your brother Polymathes looke to that.
Polymathes. If you haue perused his lesson sufficiently, I pray you shew it me.
Master. Here it is, and looke what you can spie in it.
Philomathes. I do not thinke there be a fault so sensible in it as that he may spie it.
Polymathes. But either my sight is daseled or then brother I haue you by the backe, and therfore I pray you be not offended if I serue you with the same measure you serued me.
Philomathes. What is the matter?
Polymathes. Do you see the fifth note of the tenor part?
Philomathes. I doe.
Polymathes. What corde is it to the base.
Philomathes. An eight, but how then?
Polymathes. Ergo, I conclude that the next is an eight likewise with the base, both descending, and so that you haue broken Priscians head, wherefore I may Lege talionis laugh at incongruity as well as you might at vnformality, but now I cry quittance with you.
Philomathes. In deed I confesse you haue ouertaken me, but (master) do you find no other thing discommendable in my lesson?
Master. Yes, for you haue in the closing gone out of your key, which is one of the grosest faults which may be committed.
Philomathes. What do you call going out of the key?
[-147-] Master. The leauing of that key wherein you did begin, and ending in an other.
Philomathes. What fault is that?
Master. [Going out of the key a great fault. in marg.] A great fault, for euery key hath a peculiar ayre proper vnto it selfe, so that if you goe into another then that wherein you begun, you change the aire of the song, which is as much as to wrest a thing out of his nature, making the asse leape vpon his maister and the Spaniell beare the loade. The perfect knowledge of these aires (which the antiquity termed Modi) was in such estimation amongst the learned, as therein they placed the perfection of musicke, as you may perceiue at large in the fourth booke of Seuerinus Boethius his musick, and Glareanus hath written a learned book which he tooke in hand onely for the explanation of those moodes; and though the ayre of euerie key be different one from the other, yet some loue (by a wonder of nature) to be ioined to others so that if you begin your song in Gam vt, you may conclude it either in C fa vt or D sol re, and from thence come againe to Gam vt: likewise if you begin your song in D sol re, you may end in are and come againe to D sol re, et cetera.
Philomathes. Haue you no generall rule to be giuen for an instruction for keeping of the key?
Master. No, for it must proceede only of the iudgement of the composer, yet the church men for keeping their keyes haue deuised certaine notes commonlie called the eight tunes, [Annotation 24] so that according to the tune which is to be obserued, at that time if it beginne in such a key, it may end in such and such others, as you shall immediatly know. And these be (although not the true substance yet) some shadow of the ancient modi whereof Boethius and Glareanus haue written so much.
Philomathes. I pray you set downe those eight tunes, for the ancient modi, I mean by the grace of God to study hereafter.
Master. Here they be in foure partes, the tenor stil keeping the plainesong.
[Morley, Introduction, 147; text: THE EIGHT TUNES. first tune. second] [MOR1597C 22GF]
[-148-] [Morley, Introduction, 148; text: The third tune. fourth, fifth, sixth, seuenth, eighth] [MOR1597C 23GF]
[-149-] Philomathes. I will insist no further to craue the vse of them at this time, but because the day is far spent, I will pray you to go forward with some other matter.
Master. Then leaue counterpoint, and make foure parts of mingled notes.
Philomathes. I wil.
Polymathes. I thinke you will now beware of letting me take you tardie in false cords.
Philomathes. You shal not by my good will.
Master. Peruse your lesson after that you haue made it, and so you shal not so often commit such faultes as proceed of ouersight.
Polymathes. That is true indeed.
Philomathes. I pray you (maister) peruse this lesson, for I find no sensible fault in it.
Polymathes. I pray you shew it me before you shew it to our master, that it may passe censures by degrees.
Philomathes. I wil, so you wil play the Aristarchus cunningly.
Polymathes. Yea, a Diogenes if you wil.
Philomathes. On that condition you shall haue it.
Master. And what haue you spied in it?
Polymathes. As much as he did, which is iust nothing.
Master. Then let me haue it.
Polymathes. Here it is, and it may bee that you may spie some informalitie in it, but I will answere for the true composition.
[Morley, Introduction, 149] [MOR1597C 24GF]
Master. This lesson is tolerable, but yet there bee some thinges in it which I verie much dislike, [Skipping from the tenth to the eighth both parts ascending. in marg.] and first the skipping from the tenth, to the eight in the last note of the first bar, and first not of the second in the counter and base part, not being inioyned thereunto by any necessitie, either of fuge or Canon, but in plaine counterpoint where enough of other shift was to be had, I know you might defend your selfe with the Authorites of almost all the composers, who at all times and almost in euerie song of their Madrigals and Canzonets haue some such quiditie, and though it cannot bee disproued as false descant, yet would not I vse it no more then many other thinges which are to bee found in their works [Faults to be auoided in imitation. in marg.] as skipping from the sixth to the eight, from the sixth to the vnison from a tenth to an eight ascending or descending and infinite more faultes which you shal find by excellent men committed, [A note for taking of vnison. in marg.] specially in taking of vnisons which are seldome to be vsed but in passing wise ascending or descending, or then for the first or latter part of a note, and so away, not standing long vpon it, where as they by the contrarie wil skip vp to it from a sixth, third or fifth, which (as I told you before) we cal hitting an vnison or other cord on the face, but they before they wil break the are of their waton amorus humor wil chose to runne into any inconuenient in musick whatsoeuer, and yet they haue gotten the name of musick masters through the world by their Madrigals and quicke inuentions, for you must vnderstand that few of them compose Mottets, wheras by the contrary they make [-150-] infinite volumes of Madrigals, Canzonets, and other such ayreable musicke, yea though he were a priest he would rather choose to excell in that wanton and pleasing musicke then in that which properly belongeth to his profession, so much bee they by nature inclined to loue, and therein are they to be commended for one musicion amongst them will honor and reuerence another, whereas by the contrarie, we (if two of vs bee of one profession) wil neuer cease to backbite one another so much as we can.
Polymathes. You play vpon the Homonymie of the word Loue, for in that they be inclined to lust, therein I see no reason why they should be commended, but whereas one musicion amongst them will reuerence and loue one another, [Errata 29] that is in deede praiseworthie, and whereas you iustly complaine of the hate and backbiting amongst the musicions of our countrey, that I knowe to bee most true, and speciallie in these young fellowes, who hauing no more skill then to sing a part of a song perfectlie, and scarselie that, will take vpon them to censure excellent men, and to backbite them too, but I would not wish to liue so long as to see a set of bookes of one of those young yonkers compositions, who are so ready to condemne others.
Master. I perceiue you are cholericke, but let vs returne to your brothers lesson, though imitation be an excellent thing, yet would I wish no man so to imitate as to take whatsoeuer his author saith, be it good or bad, and as for these scapes though in singing they be quickly ouerpast (as being committed in Madrigals, Canzonets, and such like light musicke and in small notes) yet they giue occasion to the ignorant of committing the same in longer notes, as in Mottets where the fault would bee more offensiue and sooner spied. And euen as one with a quicke hand playing vpon an instrument, shewing in voluntarie the agilitie of his fingers, will by the hast of his conueiance cloke manie faultes, which if they were stoode vpon would mightilie offend the eare, so those musicians because the faultes are quickly ouerpast, as being in short notes, thinke them no faultes but yet wee must learne to distinguish betwixt an instrument playing diuision, and a voice expressing a dittie, and as for the going from the tenth to the eight in this place ascending, if the base had descended to Gam vt, where it ascended to G sol re vt, then had it beene better, but those fyrie spirits from whence you had it, woulde rather choose to make a whole newe song, then to correct one which is already made, although neuer so little alteration would haue auoided that inconuenient, else would they not suffer so manie fifths and eightes passe in their workes, yea Croce himselfe hath let fiue fiftes together slip in one of his * songes, [*Tste 17. song of his second booke of Madrials of 5. voices, in the 11. and 12. semibreeues. See also the 5. 8. 9. and 15. of the same set. in marg.] and in many of them you shall finde two (which with him is no faulte as it should seeme by his vse of them) although the eastwind haue not yet blown that custome on this side of the Alpes. But though Croce and diuerse others haue made no scruple of taking those fiftes, yet will wee leaue to imitate him in that, nor yet will I take vpon me to saie so much as Zarlino doth, though I thinke as much, who in the 29. chapter of the third part of his Institutions of musick, discoursing of taking of those cords together writeth thus. Et non si dee hauer riguardo che alcuni habbiano voluto fare il contrario, piu presto per presuntione, che per ragione alcuna, che loro habbiano hauuto, come vediamo nelle loro compositioni; conciosia che non si deue imitare coloro, che fanno sfacciatamente contra li buoni costumi, et buoni praecetti d'un' arte et di vna scienza, senza renderne ragione alcuna: ma dobbiamo imitar quelli, che sono stati obseruatori dei buoni praecetti, et accostarsi a loro et abbracciarli come buoni maestri: lasciando sempre il tristo, et pigliando il buono: et questo dico per che si comme il videre vna pittura, che sia dipinta con varij colori, magiormente dilettal'occhio, di quello che non farebbe se fusse depinta con vn solo colore: cosi l'udito maggiormente si diletta et piglia piacere delle consonanze et delle modulationi variate, poste dal diligentissimo compositore nelle sue compositioni, che delli semplici et non variate: Which is in Eenglish. Nor ought wee to haue any regard though others haue done the contrary, rather vpon a presumption then any reason which they haue had to doe so, as [-151-] we may see in their compositions: although wee ought not to imitate them, who doe without any shame go against the good rules and precepts of an Art and a science, without giuing any reason for their doings: but we ought to imitate those who haue beene obseruers of those precepts, ioine vs to them, and embrace them as good maisters, euer leauing the bad and taking the good: and this I say because that euen as a picture painted with diuers cullours doth more delight the eie to beholde it then if it were done but with one cullour alone, so the eare is more delighted and taketh more pleasure of the consonants by the diligent musicion placed in his compositions with varietie then of the simple concords put together without any varietie at all. This much Zarlino, yet do not I speake this, nor seeke this opinion of his, for derogation from Croce or any of those excellent men, but wish as they take great paines to compose, so they will not thinke much to take a little to correct, and though some of them doe boldly take those fiftes and eightes, yet shal you hardly find either in master Alfonso (except in that place which I cited [Errata 30] to you before) Orlando, Striggio, Clemens non papa, or any before them, nor shall you redily find it in the workes of anie of those famous english men who haue beene nothing inferior in art to any of the afore named, as Farefax, Tauerner, Shepherde, Mundy, White, Persons, Master Birde, and diuers others, who neuer thought it greater sacrilidge to spurne against the Image of a Saint then to take two perfect cordes of one kind together, but if you chance to find any such thing in your works you may bee bold to impute it to the ouersight of the copyers, for copies passing from hand to hand a smal ouersight committed by the first writer, by the second will bee made worse, which will giue occasion to the third to alter much both in the wordes and notes, according as shall seeme best to his owne iudgement, though (God knowes) it will be far enough from the meaning of the author, so that errors passing from hand to hand in written copies be easilie augmented, but for such of their workes as be in print, I dare bee bould to affirme that in them no such thing is to be found.
Philomathes. You haue giuen vs a good caueat how to behaue our selues in perusing the works of other men, and likewise you haue giuen vs a good obseruation for comming into a vnison, therefore now go forward with the rest of the faults of my lesson.
Master. The second fault which I dislike in it is in the latter end of the fift bar and beginning of the next, where you stand in eights, for the counter is an eight to the base, and the tenor an eight to the treble, which fault is committed by leauing out the tenth, but if you had caused the counter rise in thirdes with the treble, it hadde beene good thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 151] [MOR1597C 24GF]
the third fault of your lesson is in the last note of your seuenth bar, comming from B fa b my, to F fa vt, ascending in the tenor part, of which fault I told you enough in your descant, the like fault of vnformal skipping is in the same notes of the same bar in the counter part, and lastly in the same counterpart you haue left out the Cadence at the close.
Philomathes. That vnformal fift was committed because I woulde not come from the sixth to the fifth, ascending betweene the tenor and the treble, but if I had considered where the note stoode, I would rather haue come from the sixth to the fifth then haue made it as it is.
Master. That is no excuse for you, for if your partes do not come to your liking, but bee forced to skip in that order, you may alter the other partes (as being tide to nothing) for the altering of the leading part will much helpe the thing, so that sometime one part may lead, and somtime another, according as the nature of the musick or of the point is, for all points wil not be brought in alike, yet alwaies the musick is so to be cast as the point bee not offensiue, being compelled to run into vnisons, and therefore when the partes haue scope enough, the musicke goeth well, but when they bee so scattered, as though they lay aloofe, fearing to come neere one to another, then is not the harmonie so good.
[-152-] Philomathes. That is verie true indeed: but is not the close of the counter a Cadence.
Master. No, for a Cadence must alwaies bee bound or then odde, driuing a small note through a greater which the Latins (and those who haue of late daies written the art of musicke, call Syncopation, for all binding and hanging vpon notes is called Syncopation, as this and such like:
[Examples of Syncopation. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 152,1] [MOR1597C 24GF]
Here be also other examples of Syncopation in three partes, which if you consider diligentlie you shall finde (beside the Syncopation) a laudable and commendable manner of causing your partes driue odde, either ascending or descending, and if you cause three parts ascend or descend driuing, you shal not possiblie do it after any other maner then here is set down, it is true that you may do it in longer or shorter notes at your pleasure, but that will alter nothing of the substance of the matter. Also these driuings you shall find in manie songes of the most approued authors, yet shall you not see them otherwise corded, either in musicke for voices or instruments then here you may see.
[Other examples of Syncopation. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 152,2] [MOR1597C 25GF]
[-153-] [Morley, Introduction, 153,1] [MOR1597C 25GF]
Philomathes. This I will both diligentlie marke and carefullie keepe, but now I pray you set downe my lesson corrected after your maner, that I may the better remember the correction of the faults committed in it.
Master. Here it is according as you might haue made it without those faults.
[Morley, Introduction, 153,2] [MOR1597C 25GF]
Philomathes. I will peruse this at leasure, but now (brother) I pray you make a lesson as I haue done, and ioine practise with your speculation.
Polymathes. I am contented, so you wil not laugh at my errors if you find any, but rather shew me how they may be corrected.
Philomathes. I will if I can, but if I cannot here is one who shall supplie that want.
Polymathes. I pray you then be silent, for I must haue deliberation and quietnes also, else shall I neuer do any thing.
Philomathes. You shall rather thinke vs stones then men.
Polymathes. But (maister) before I begin I remember a peece of composition of foure parts of maister Tauernor in one of his kiries, which maister Bould and all his companions did highly comend for exceeding good, and I would gladly haue your opinion of it.
Master. Shew it me.
[-154-] Polymathes. Here it is.
[Morley, Introduction, 154,1] [MOR1597C 26GF]
Master. [Faults in this lesson. in marg.] Although maister Tauerner did it I would not imitate it.
Polymathes. For what reasons?
Master. First of all the beginning is neither pleasing nor artificial because of that ninth taken for the last part of the first note, and first of the nexte which is a thing vntolerable except there were a sixtth to beare it out, for discordes are not to bee taken except they haue vnperfect cordes to beare them out, likewise betwixt the treble and counter parts another might easilie bee placed, all the rest of the musicke is harsh, and the close in the counter part is both naught and stale like vnto a garment of a strange fashion, which being new put on for a day or two will please because of the noueltie, but being worne thread bare, wil grow in contempt, and so this point when the lesson was made being a newe fashion was admitted for the raritie, although the descant was naught, as being onely deuised to bee foisted in at a close amongst many parts, for lacke of other shift, for though the song were of tenne or more parts, yet would that point serue for one, not troubling any of the rest, but nowe a daies it is growne in such common vse as diuers will make no scruple to vse it in fewe partes where as it might well enough be left out, though it be very vsuall with our Organists.
Polymathes. That is verie true, for if you wil but once walke to Paules church, you shall here it three or foure times at the least, in one seruice if not in one verse.
Master. But if you marke the beginning of it, you shal find a fault which euen now I condemned in your brothers lesson, for the counter is an eight to the treble, and the base an eight to the tenor, and as the counter commeth in after the treble, so in the same maner without varietie, the base commeth into the tenor.
Polymathes. These bee sufficient reasons indeede, but howe might the point haue otherwise beene brought in.
Master. Many waies, and thus for one.
[The former lesson bettered in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 154,2] [MOR1597C 26GF]
[-155-] Polymathes. I woulde I could set down such another.
Philomathes. Wishing will not auaile, but fabricando fabri fimus therefore neuer leaue practising for that is in my opinion the readiest way to make such another.
Polymathes. You say true, and therefore I will trie to bring in the same point another way.
Philomathes. I see not what you can make worth the hearing vpon that point hauing such two going before you.
Master. Be not by his words terrified, but hold forward your determination, for by such like contentions you shall profit more then you looke for.
Polymathes. How like you this way?
[Morley, Introduction, 155,1] [MOR1597C 26GF]
Master. [faultes in this lesson. in marg.] Very ill.
Polymathes. I pray you shew me particnlarlie euerie fault.
Master. First of all you begin vpon a descorde, secondlie the parts be vnformall, and lastlie the base is brought in out of the key which faulte is committed because of not causing the base answere to the counter in the eight, or at least to the tenor, but because the tenor is in the lowe key, it were too lowe to cause the base answere it in the eight, and therefore it had beene better in this place to haue brought in the base in D sol re, for by bringing it in C fa vt, the counter being in D la sol re, you haue changed the aire and made it quite vnformall, for you must cause your fuge answere your leading parte either in the fifth, in the fourth, or in the eight, and so likewise euery part to answer other, although this rule bee not general, yet is it the best manner of maintaining pointes, for those waies of bringing in of fuges in the third, sixth, and euery such like cordes though they shew great sight yet are they vnpleasant and seldome vsed.
Polymathes. So I perceaue that if I had studied of purpose to make an euill lesson I could not haue made a worse then this, therefore once againe I will trie if I can make one which may in some sort content you.
Master. Take heed that your last be not the worst.
Polymathes. I would not haue it so, but tandem aliquando. how like you this?
[Morley, Introduction, 155,2] [MOR1597C 27GF]
[-156-] Master. The musick is in deed true, but you haue set it in such a key as no man would haue done, except it had beene to haue plaide it on the Organes with a quier of singing men, for in deede such shiftes the Organistes are many times compelled to make for ease of the fingers, but some haue brought it from the Organe, and haue gone about to bring it in common vse of singing with bad successe if they respect their credit, for take me any of their songes, so set downe and you shall not find a musicion (how perfect soeuer hee be) able to sol fa it right, because he shall either sing a note in such a key as it is not naturally: as la in C sol fa vt, sol in b fa b my, fa in a la mi re, or then hee shall be compelled to sing one note in two seueral keys in continual deduction as fa in b fa b mi, and fa in A la mi re immediatlie one after another, which is against our very first rule of the singing our sixe notes or tuninges, and as for them who haue not practised that kind of songes, the verie sight of those flat cliffes (which stande at the beginning of the verse or line like a paire of staires, with great offence to the eie, but more to the amasing of the yong singer) make them mistearme their notes and so go out of tune, wheras by the contrary if your song were prickt in another key any young scholler might easilie and perfectlie sing it, and what can they possiblie do with such a number of flat b b, which I coulde not as well bring to passe by pricking the song a note higher? lastly in the last notes of your third bar and first of the next, and likewise in your last bar you haue committed a grosse ouersight of leauing out the Cadence, first in your Alto, and lastly in the tenor at the very close, and as for those notes which you haue put in the tenor part in steede of the Cadence, though they be true vnto the partes, yet would your Cadence in this place haue beene farre better, for that you cannot formally close without a Cadence in some one of the parts, as for the other it is an olde stale fashion of closing commonly vsed in the fift part to these foure (as you shall knowe more at large when I shall shewe you the practise of fiue partes) but if you would set downe of purpose to study for the finding out of a bad close, you could not redily light on a worse then this.
Polymathes. They I pray you correct those faults, retaining that which is sufferable.
Master. Here is your owne way altered in nothing but in the Cadences and key.
[Morley, Introduction, 156] [MOR1597C 27GF]
But here you must note that your song beeing gouerned with flats it is as vnformall to touch a sharpe eight in E la mi, as in this key to touch it in F fa vt, and in both places the sixth would haue beene much better, which would haue beene an eight to the treble, besides (which I had almost forgotten) when they make their songes with those flats, they not onelie pester the beginning of euery verse with them but also when a note commeth in [-157-] any place where they should be vsed they will set another flat before it, so that of necessitie it must in one of the places bee superfluous, likewise I haue seene diuers songes with those three flats at the beginning of euerie verse, and notwithstanding not one note in some of the places where the flat is set from the beginning of the song to the ende. But the strangers neuer pester their verse with those flats, but if the song be naturally flat they will set one b, at the beginning of the verses of euerie part, and if there happen anie extraordinarie flat or sharpe they will set the signe before it, which may serue for the note and no more, likewise if the song bee sharpe if there happen anie extraotdinarie flat or sharpe they will signifie it as before, the signes stil seruing but for that note before which it standeth and for no more.
Polymathes. This I will remember, but once againe I will see if I can with a lesson please you any better, and for that effect I pray you giue me some point which I may maintain
Polymathes. [Errata 31] I will shewe you that peece of fauour if you will promise to requite me with the like fauor.
Polymathes. I promise you that you shall haue the hardest in all my budget.
Philomathes. I wil deale more gentlie with you, for here is one which in my opinion is familiar enough, and easie to be maintained.
[Morley, Introduction, 157,1] [MOR1597C 27GF]
Polymathes. Doubt not but my descant will be as familiar and as easie to bee amended, but I pray you keepe silence for a little while else shal I neuer do any good.
Philomathes. I pray God it be good when it comes, for you haue already made it long enough.
Polymathes. Because you say so, I will proceed no further, and nowe let me here your opinion of it: thereafter I will shew it to our master.
[Morley, Introduction, 157,2] [MOR1597C 28GF]
[-158-] [Morley, Introduction, 158] [MOR1597C 28GF]
Philomathes. I can perceiue no grosse faults in it except that the leading part goeth too far, before any of the rest follow, and that you haue made the three first parts go to wide in distance.
Polymathes. For the soone bringing in of the point, I care not, but in deede I feare my maisters reprehension, for the compas therefore I will presentlie bee out of feare and shewe it him: I pray you (sir) shew me the faults of this lesson,
Master. [Faults in the lesson precedent. in marg.] The first thing which I dislike in it is the widenesse and distance of your parts one from another, for in your fourth bar it were an easie matter to put in two parts betwixt your treble and meane, and likewise two others betwixt your meane and tenor, therefore in any case hereafter take heed of scattering your parts in that order, for it maketh the musick seeme wild, secondly in your fifth bar you go from the fifth to the eight in the treble and tenor partes, but if you had set that mynime (which standeth in b square) in D sol re causing it to come vnder the counter part, it had beene much better and more formal. Thirdly in the seuenth bar, your counter and tenor come into an vnison, whereas it is an easie matter to put in three seuerall parts betweene your counter and treble. Fourthly in the eight bar your tenor and base go into an vnison without any necessitie. Fiftlie in the tenth bar all the rest of the partes pause while the tenor leadeth and beginneth the fuge which causeth the musicke to seeme bare and lame, in deede if it had beene at the beginning of the second part of a song, or after a full close the fault had beene more excusable, but as it is vsed in this place, it disgraceth the musicke verie much. Sixthly the last note of the fifteenth bar and first of the next are two fifths in the base and tenor parts. Lastly your close in the treble part is so stale that it is almost worme eaten, and generally your treble part lieth so aloofe from the rest as though it were afraide to come nigh them, which maketh all the musicke both vnformall and vnpleasing, for the most artificial forme of composing is to couch the parts close together, so that nothing may be either added or taken away with out great hinderance to the other parts.
Polymathes. My brother blamed the beginning, because the leading part went so farre before the next: therefore I pray you let me here your opinion of that matter?
Master. In deed it is true, that the neerer the following part be vnto the leading, the better the fuge is perceaued and the more plainelie decerned, and therefore did the musicians striue to bring in their pointes the soonest they coulde, but the continuation of that neerenes caused them fall into such a common manner of composing that all their points were brought in after one sort, so that now there is almost no fuge to be found in anie booke which hath not beene many times vsed by others, and therefore wee must giue the fuge some more scope to come in, and by that meanes we shall shew some varietie which cannot the other may [Errata 32] be showne.
Polymathes. Now (Sir) I pray you desire my brother Philomathes to maintaine the same point, that I may censure him with the same liberty wherewith hee censured me, for hee hath heard nothing of al which you haue saide of my lesson.
Master. I wil. Philomathes: let me here how you can handle this same point.
Philomathes. How hath my brother handled it?
Master. That shalbe councel to you til we see yours.
Philomathes. Then shal you quickly see mine. I haue rubd it out at length, though with much adoe: here it is, shew me the faults.
[-159-] [Morley, Introduction, 159] [MOR1597C 29GF]
Master. Wee will first here what your brother saieth to it, and then will I declare mine opinion.
Philomathes. If he be the examiner, I am not afraide of condemnation.
Polymathes. What? do you thinke I will spare you?
Philomathes. Not so: but I doubt of your sufficiencie to spie and examine the faultes, for they will be very grosse if you find them.
Polymathes. It may be that before I haue don you will thinke them grosse enough.
Master. Go then roundly to worke, and shew vs what you mislike in the lesson.
Polymathes. [Faults in the lesson Precedent. in marg.] Then: Inprimis, I mislike the beginnig vpon an vnison, Item I mislike two discordes (that is a second and a fourth) taken both together after the vnison in the second bar betwixt the tenor and counter: Item, Tertio I condemne as naught, the standing in the sixt a whole briefe together in the third bar in the counter and tenor parts, for though it be true and withal other shift enough to be had, yet be those vnperfect cords, seldome vsed of the skilfull, except when some perfect commeth immediatlie after them, and there for being taken but to sweeten the musicke, though they make great varietie they must not be holden out in length, and stood vpon so long as others, but lightlie touched and so away. Besides, in manie parts if the sixth be so stood vpon it will be the harder to make good parts to them. Item, Quarto I condemne the standing in the vnison a whole semibriefe in the last note of the seuenth bar in the treble and counter parts, where you must note that the fault is in the treble and not in the counter. Lastlie, I condemne two fiftes in the penulte and last notes of the tenth bar in the treble and tenor parts: likewise, that close of the tenor is of the ancient blocke, which is now growne out of fashion, because it is thought better and more commendable to come to a close deliberately with drawing and binding descant, then so suddenly to close, except you had an aeuoue or Amen to sing after it. How saie you (Master) haue I not said prettely wel to my young maisters lesson.
Master. In deede you haue spied well, but yet there bee two thinges which haue escaped your sight.
[-160-] Polymathes. It may be it past my skil to perceiue them, but I pray you which be those two?
Master. [More faults in the lesson procedent. in marg.] The taking of a Cadence in the end of the fifth barre, and beginning of the next, which might either haue beene below in the tenor or aboue in the treble, and is such a thing in all musicke, as of all other things must not bee left out, especiallie in closing eyther passing in the middest of a song or ending: for though it were but in two partes yet would it grace the musicke, and the oftner it were vsed, the better the song or lesson would be: much more in many parts: and in this place it had beene far better to haue left out any cords whatsoeuer then the Cadence: and though you would keepe all the foure parts as they be, yet if you sing it in G sol re vt, either in the treble or tenor, it wold make a true fifth part to them. The Cadence likewise is left out where it might haue beene taken in the ninth bar and counter part, which if it had beene taken would haue caused the Tenor to come vp neerer to the counter, and the counter to the treble, and therby so much the more haue graced the musicke.
Philomathes. It greeues me that he should haue found so many holes in my cote, but it may be that he hath bin taken with some of those faultes himselfe in his last lesson, and so might the more easely find them in mine.
Master, You may peruse his lesson and see that.
Polymathes. But (sir) seeing both wee haue tried our skill vpon one point, I pray you take the same point and make something of it which we may imitate, for I am sure my brother wil be as willing to see it as I.
Philomathes. And more willing (if more may be) therefore let vs intreat you to do it.
Master. Little intreatie wil serue for such a matter, and therefore here it is.
[Morley, Introduction, 160] [MOR1597C 29GF]
[-161-] [Morley, Introduction, 161] [MOR1597C 30GF]
Polymathes. In mine opinion hee who can bnt rightly imitate this one lesson may be counted a good musicion.
Philomathes. Why so?
[-162-] Polymathes. Because there be so many and diuers waies of bringing in the fuge shewed in it as would cause any of my humor bee in loue with it, for the point is brought in in the true ayre the parts going so close and formally that nothing more artificiall can bee wished: likewise marke in what maner any part beginneth and you shal see some other reply vpon it in the same point, either in shorter or longer notes also in the 22. barre when the Tenor expresseth the point, the base reuerteth it, and at a worde I can compare it to nothing but to a wel garnished garden of most sweete flowers, which the more it is searched the more variety it yeldeth.
Master. You are too hyperbolicall in your phrases, speaking not according to skil, but affection, but in truth it is a most common point, and no more then commonly handled, but if a man would study, he might find vpon it varietie enough to fill vp many sheets of paper: yea, though it were giuen to all the musicions of the world they might compose vpon it, and not one of their compositions be like vnto that of another. And you shall find no point so wel handled by any man, either Composer or Organist, but with studie either he himselfe or some other might make it much better. But of this matter enough, and I thinke by the lessons and precepts which you haue already had, you may well enough vnderstand the most vsual allowances and disallowances in the composition of foure parts. It followeth now to shew you the practise of fiue, therefore (Philomathes) let me see what you can doe at fiue, seeing your Brother hath gone before you in foure.
Philomathes. I wil: but I pray you what generall rules and obseruations are to bee kept in fiue partes?
Master. I can giue you no generall rule, but that you must haue a care to cause your parts giue place one to another, and aboue all thinges auoide standing in vnisons, for seeing they can hardly bee altogether auoided the more care is to bee taken in the good vse of them, which is best shown in passing notes, and in the last part of a note. The other rules for casting of the partes and taking of allowances be the same which were in foure parts.
Philomathes. Giue me leaue then to pause a little, and I wil trie my skill:
Master. Pause much, and you shal do better.
Polymathes. What? wil much studie helpe?
Master. Too much study dulleth the vnderstanding, but when I bid him pause much, I wil him to correct often before he leaue.
Philomathes. But when he hath once set downe a thing right, what neede him study any more at that time?
Master. When he hath once set downe a point, though it be right, yet ought hee not to rest there, but should rather looke more earnestly how hee may bring it more artificiallie about.
Polymathes. By that meanes hee may scrape out that which is good, and bring in that which wilbe worse.
Master. It may be that he wil do so at the first, but afterwards when he hath discretion to decerne the goodnesse of one point aboue another, hee will take the best and leaue the worst. And in that kind, the Italians and other strangers are greatlie to be commended, who taking any point in hand, wil not stand long vpon it, but wil take the best of it and so away to another, whereas by the contrarie, we are so tedious that of one point wee will make as much as may serue for a whole song, which though it shew great art in variety, yet is it more then needeth, except one would take vpon them to make a whole fancy of one point. And in that also you shall find excellent fantasies both of maister Alfonso, Horatio Vecci, and others. But such they seldome compose, except it either bee to shewe their varietie at some odde time to see what may be done vpon a point without a dittie, or at the request of some friend, to shew the diuersitie of sundrie mens vaines vpon one subiect. And though the Lawyers say that it were better to suffer a hundred guilty persons [-163-] escape them to punish one guitles, yet ought a musicion rather blotte out twentie good points then to suffer one point passe in his compositions vnartificially brought in.
Philomathes. I haue at length wrested out a way, I pray yon sir peruse it and correct the faults.
[Morley, Introduction, 163] [MOR1597C 31GF]
Master. You haue wrested it out in deede, as for the faults they bee not to be corrected.
Philomathes. what? is the lesson so excellent wel contriued?
Master. No: but except you change it all you cannot correct the fault which like vnto a hereditarie lepresie in a mans bodie is vncurable without the dissolution of the whole?
Philomathes. I pray you what is the fault.
Master. The compasse, for as it standeth you shall hardly finde fiue ordinarie voices to sing it, and is it not a shame for you being tould of that fault so many times before, to fall into it now againe? for if you marke your fift bar, you may easely put three parts betwixt your meane and tenor, and in the eight bar you may put likewise three parts betweene your treble and meane, grosse faults and only committed by negligence, your last notes [-164-] of the ninth bar and first of the next are two fifts in the treble, and meane parts, and your two last barres you haue robde out of the capcase of some olde Organist, but that close though it fit the singer as that the deformitie whereof may be hidden by flurrish, yet is it not sufferable in compositions for voices, seeing there be such harsh discordes taken as are flat against the rules of musicke.
Philomathes. As how?
Master. Discorde against discorde, that is, the treble and tenor are a discorde, and the base and tenor likewise a discord in the latter part of the first semibriefe of the last barre, and this fault is committed by breaking the notes in diuision, but that and many other such closings haue beene in too much estimation heretofore amongst the verie chiefest of our musicians, whereof amongst many euil this is one of the worst.
[Morley, Introduction, 164,1] [MOR1597C 31GF]
Philomathes. Wherein do ye condemne this close, seeing it is both in long notes and likewise a Cadence.
Master. No man can condemne it in the treble counter or base parts, but the Tenor is a blemish to the other, and such a blemish as if you will study of purpose to make a bad part to any others you coulde not possible make a worse, therefore in any case abstaine from it and such like.
Philomathes. Seeing the other parts be good how might the tenor be alterid and made better.
[Morley, Introduction, 164,2] [MOR1597C 31GF]
nowe let your eare bee iudge in the singing, and you your selfe will not denie but that you find much better ayre and more fulnes then was before, you may replie and say the other was fuller because it did more offende the eare, but by that reason you might likewise argue that a song full of false descant is fuller then that which is made of true cords. But (as I tolde you before) the best comming to a close is in binding wise in long drawing notes (as you see in the first of these examples following) and most chiefely when a fuge which hath beene in the same song handled is drawne out to make the close in binding wise, as imagine that this point hath in your song beene maintained
[Morley, Introduction, 164,3] [MOR1597C 31GF]
you may drawe it out to make the close as you see in the last of these examples.
[Morley, Introduction, 164,4] [MOR1597C 32GF]
[-165-] Philomathes. I pray you take the fuge of my lesson, and shew me how it might haue beene followed better.
Master. Manie waies, and thus for one.
[Morley, Introduction, 165] [MOR1597C 32GF]
Philomathes. You haue caused two sundrie parts sing the same notes in one and the selfesame keye.
Master. That is no fault, for you may make your song ether of two Trebles, or two Meanes in the high key or low key, as you list.
Philomathes. What do you meane by the high key?
Master. All songs made by the Musicians, who make songs by discretion, are either in the high key or in the lowe key. For if you make your song in the high key, here is the compasse of your musicke, with the forme of setting the cliffes for euery part.
[-166-] [Morley, Introduction, 166,1; text: Canto. Alto. Tenor and Quinto. Basso] [MOR1597C 33GF]
But if you would make your song of two trebles you may make the two highest parts both with one cliffe, in which case one of them is called Qninto. If the song bee not of two trebles, then is the Quinto alwaies of the same pitch with the tenor, your Alto or meane you may make high or lowe as you list, setting the cliffe on the lowest or second rule. If you make your song in the low key, or for meanes then must you keepe the compasse and set your cliffe as you see here.
[Morley, Introduction, 166,2; text: The high Meane. The low Meane. Alto. Tenor. Basso] [MOR1597C 33GF]
The musicians also vse to make some compositions for men onely to sing, in which case they neuer passe this compasse.
[Morley, Introduction, 166,3; text: Alto. Tenor primus. secundus. Bassus] [MOR1597C 33GF]
Now must you diligentlie marke that in which of all of these compasses you make your musicke, you must not suffer any part to goe without the compasse of his rules, except one note at the most aboue or below, without it be vpon an extremity for the ditties sake or in notes taken for Diapasons in the base. It is true that the high and lowe keyes come both to one pitch, or rather compasse, but you must vnderstand that those songs which are made for the high key be made for more life, the other in the low key with more grauetie and staidnesse, so that if you sing them in contrarie keyes, they wil loose their grace and wil be wrested as it were out of their nature: for take an instrument, as a Lute Orpharion, Pandora, or such like, being in the naturall pitch, and set it a note or two lower it wil go much heauier and duller, and far from that spirit which it had before, much more being foure notes lower then the naturall pitch.
Likewise take a voice being neuer so good, and cause it sing aboue the naturall reach it will make an vnpleasing and sweete [Errata 33] noise, displeasing both the singer because of the straining, and the hearer because of the wildenes of the sound: euen so, if songes of the high key be sung in the low pitch, and they of the low key sung in the high pitch, though it will not be so offensiue as the other, yet will it not breed so much contentment in the hearer as otherwise it would do. Likewise, in what key soeuer you compose, let not your parts be so far asunder as that you may put in any other betwixt them, (as you haue don in your last lesson) but keepe them close together, and if it happen that the point cause them go an eight one from the other (as in the beginning of my example you may see) yet let them come close together agaiue, and abone all thinges keepe the ayre of your key (be it in the first tune, second tune, or other) except you bee by the wordes forced to beare it, for the Dittie (as you shall know hereafter) will compell the author many times to admit great absurdities in his musicke, altering both time, tune, cullour ayre and what soeuer else, which is commendable so hee can cunninglie come into his former ayre againe.
[-167-] Philomathes. I wil by the grace of God diligentlie obserue these rules, therefore I pray you giue vs some more examples which we may imitate, for how can a workeman worke, who hath had no patterne to instruct him.
Master. If you would compose well, the best patternes for that effect or [Errata 34] the workes of excellent men, wherin you may perceiue how points are brought in, the best way of which is when either the song beginneth two seuerall points in two seuerall parts at once, or one point foreright and reuerted. And though your foreright fuges be verie good, yet are they such as any man of skil may in a manner at the first sight bring in, if hee doe but heare the leading part sung: but this way of two or three seueral points going together is the most artificiall kinde of composing which hetherto hath beene inuented, either for Motets or Madrigals, speciallie when it is mingled with reuertes, because so it maketh the musick seeme more strange, wherof let this be an example.
[Morley, Introduction, 167] [MOR1597C 33GF]
[-168-] [Morley, Introduction, 168] [MOR1597C 34GF]
Polymathes. In truth if I had not looked vpon the example, I had not vnderstood your wordes, but now I perceaue the meaning of them.
Philomathes. And must euerie part maintaine that point wherewith it did begin, not touching that of other parts?
Master. No, but euerie part may replie vpon the point of another, which causeth verie good varietie in the harmonie, for you see in the example that euerie part catcheth the point from another, so that it which euen now was in the high part, will bee straight waie in a lowe part and contrarilie.
Polymathes. Now shew vs an example of a point reuerted.
Master. Here is one.
[-169-] [Morley, Introduction, 169] [MOR1597C 35GF]
Polymathes. Brother here is a lesson worthie the noting, for euerie part goeth a contrarie waie, so that it may be called a reuert reuerted.
Philomathes. It is easie to be vnderstood, but I am afraid it wil carrie great deficultie in the practise.
Polymathes. The more paines must be taken in learning of it, but the time passeth away, therefore I pray you (Sir) giue vs another example of a foreright point without anie reuerting.
Master. Here is one, peruse it for these maintaining of long pointes, either foreright or reuert are verie good in Motets, and al other kinds of graue musicke.
[-170-] [Morley, Introduction, 170] [MOR1597C 36GF]
Philomathes. Here be good musicians, [Errata 35] but in the ninth bar there is a discord so taken, and so mixed with flats and sharps as I haue not seene any taken in the like order.
Polymathes. You must not thinke but that our master hath some one secret in composition which is not common to euery scholler, and though this seeme absurd in our dul and weake iudgement, yet out of doubt our master hath not set it downe to vs without iudgement.
Philomathes. Yet if it were lawfull for me to declare mine opinion, it is scant tolerable.
Master. It is not onely tollerable but commendable, and so much the more commendable as it is far from the common and vulgar vaine of closing, but if you come to peruse the works of excellent musicians you shall finde many such bindings, the strangenesse of the inuention of which, chiefelie caused them to be had in estimation amongst the skilful.
Polymathes. You haue hetherto giuen vs all our examples in Motets maner, therefore I pray you [-171-] giue vs now some in forme of a Madrigale, that wee may perceiue the nature of that musicke as well as that of the other.
Master. The time is almost spent: therefore that you may perceiue the maner of composition in sixe partes, and the nature of a Madrigale both at once. Here is an example of that kind of musicke in sixe partes, so that if you marke this well, you shal see that no point is long staid
[Morley, Introduction, 171] [MOR1597C 37GF]
[-172-] [Morley, Introduction, 172] [MOR1597C 38GF]
vpon, but once or twice driuen through all the partes, and sometimes reuerted, and so to the close then taking another, and that kind of handling points is most esteemed in Madrigals either of fiue or sixe parts, specially when two parts go one way, and two another way, and most commonly in tenthes or thirdes, as you may see in my former example of fiue parts, of maintaining two points or more at once. Likewise the more varietie of points bee shewed in one song, the more is the Madrigal esteemed, and withall you must bring in fine bindinges and strange closes according as the words of your Dittie shal moue you, also in these compositions of sixe parts, you must haue an especiall care of causing your parts giue place one to another, which you cannot do without restings, nor can you (as you shall knowe more at large anon) cause them rest till they haue expressed that part of the dittying which they haue begun, and this is the cause that the parts of a Madrigal either of fiue or sixe parts go somtimes full, sometimes very single, sometimes iumping together, and somtime quite contrarie waies, like vnto the passion which they expresse, for as you schollers say that loue is ful of hopes and feares, so is the Madrigall or louers musicke full of diuersitie of passions and ayres.
Philomathes. Now sir because the day is far spent, and I feare that you shall not haue time enough to relate vnto vs those things which might be desired for the ful knowledge of musicke, I will request you before you proceede to any other matters to speake something of Canons.
Master. To satisfie your request in some respect, I will shewe you a fewe whereby of your selfe you may learne to find out more. A Canon then (as I told you before scholler Philomathes) may be made in any distance comprehended within the reach of the voice, as the 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. or other. but for the composition of Canons no generall rule can be giuen as that which is performed by plaine sight, wherfore I wil refer it to your own studie to find out such points as you shall thinke meetest to bee followed, and to frame and make them fit for your Canon, the Authors vse the Canons in such diuersitie that it were folly to thinke to set down al the formes of them, because they be infinit, and also dailie more and more augmented by diuers, but most commonly they set some darke words by them, signifiyng obscurely how they are to be found out, and sung as by this of Iusquin you may see.
[-173-] [Morley, Introduction, 173,1; text: Canon. In gradus vndenos descendant multiplicantes. Consimilique modo crescant antipodes vno.] [MOR1597C 38GF]
For he setting downe a song of foure parts, hauing prickt all the other partes at length, setteth this for the base, and by the word Antipodes you must vnderstand per arsin et thesin thogh the word multiplicantes bee to obscure a direction to signifie that euerie note must bee foure times the value of it selfe, as you may perceiue by this
[Morley, Introduction, 173,1; text: Resolution.] [MOR1597C 38GF]
And though this be no Canon in that sence as wee commonly take it, as not beeing more parts in one, yet be these words a Canon: if you desire to see the rest of the parts at length you may finde them in the third booke of Glareanus his dodecachordon. But to come to those Canons which in one part haue some others concluded, here is one without any Canon in words, composed by an olde author Petrus Platensis, wherein the beginning of euerie part is signified with a letter S. signifying the highest or Suprema vox, C. the Counter, T. Tenor, and B. the base, but the ende of euerie part hee signified by the same letters inclosed in a semicircle, thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 173,3; text: B, C, T] [MOR1597C 38GF]
But least this which I haue spoken may seeme obscure, here is the resolution of the beginning of euerie part.
[Morley, Introduction, 173,4; text: Cantus. Altus. Tenor. Bassus.] [MOR1597C 39GF]
Of this kinde and such like, you shall find many both of 2, 3, 4, 5. and sixe parts, euery where in the works of Iusquin, Petrus Patensis, Brumel, and in our time, in the Introductions of Baselius and Caluisius with their resolutions and rules how to make them, therefore I wil cease to speake any more of them, but many other Canons there bee with aenigmaticall wordes set by them, which not onlie strangers haue vsed, but also many Englishmen, and I my selfe (being as your Maro saieth audax iuuenta) for exercises did make this crosse without any cliffes, with these wordes set by it:
[-174-] [Morley, Introduction, 174; text: Within this crosse here may you find, Foure parts in two be sure of this: But first seeke out to know my mind, Or els this Cannon you may misse.] [MOR1597C 39GF]
Which is indeed so obscure that no man without the Resolution wil find out how it may be sung, therefore you must not that the Trausuersarie or armes of the crosse containe a Canon in the twelfth, aboue which singeth euerie note of the base a pricke minime till you come to this sign [signum] where it endeth. The Radius or staffe of the crosse containeth like wise two partes in one, in the twelfth vnder the treble, singing euerie note of it a semibriefe till it come to this signe as before [signum] likewise you must note that all the parts begin together without any resting, as this Resolution you may see.
[-175-] [Morley, Introduction, 175,1; text: The Resolution. Cantus. Alto. Tenor. Basso.] [MOR1597C 40GF]
There be also some compositions which at the first sight will seeme very hard to bee done, yet hauing the rules of the composition of them deliuered vnto you, they wil seeme very easie to be made, as to make two partes in one, to be repeated as oft as you will, and at euerie repetition to fall a note, which though it seeme strange, yet it is performed by taking your finall Cadence one note lower then your first note was, making your first the close, as in this example by the director you may perceiue.
[Morley, Introduction, 175,2; text: Canon in epidiatessaron.] [MOR1597C 40GF]
Likewise you may make eight partes in foure (or fewer or more as you list) which may bee sung backward and forward, that is, one beginning at the beginning of euery part, and another at the ending, and so sing it quight through, and the rules to make it be these, make how many parts you list, making two of a kind (as two trebles, two tenors, two counters, and two bases) but this caueat you must haue, that at the beginning of the song al the parts must begin together full, and that you must not set any pricke in all the song (for though in singing the part forward it wil go wel, yet when the other commeth backward, it wil make a disturbance in the musicke because the singer wil be in a doubt to which note the pricke belongeth. For if hee should hould it out with the note which it followeth it would make an odde number, or then he must hold it in that tune wherin the following note is, making it of that time as if it followed that note, which would be a great absurdtitie to set a pricke before the note, of which it taketh the time: hauing so made your song, you must set one part at the end of the other of the same kind (as treble after treble, base after base, et cetera) so that the end of the one be ioined to the end of the other, so shall your musicke go right forward and backward, as thus for example.
[-176-] [Morley, Introduction, 176; text: Canon 8. parts in 4. retro et retro. Canto, Alto, Tenor, Basso, Resolution.] [MOR1597C 41GF]
If you desire more examples of this kind, you may finde one of maisterr Birds, being the last song of those Latine Motets, which vnder his and master Tallis his name were pnblished.
In this maner also be the catches made, making how many parts yno list, and setting then all after one thus.
[-177-] [Morley, Introduction, 177; text: The Resolution. Foure parts in one in the vnison.] [MOR1597C 40GF]
Nowe hauing discoursed vnto you the composition of three, foure, fiue and sixe partes with these fewe waies of Canons and catches:
[Rules to be obserued in dittying. in marg.] It followeth to shew you how to dispose your musicke according to the nature of the words which you are therein to expresse, as whatsoeuer matter it be which you haue in hand, such a kind of musicke must you frame to it. You must therefore if you haue a graue matter, applie a graue kind of musicke to it if a merrie subiect you must make your musicke also merrie. For it will be a great absurditie to vse a sad harmonie to a merrie matter, or a merrie harmonie to a sad lamentable or tragicall dittie. You must then when you would expresse any word signifying hardnesse, crueltie, bitternesse, and other such like, make the harmonie like vnto it, that is, somwhat harsh and hard but yet so the it offend not. Likewise, when any of your words shal expresse complaint, dolor, repentance, sighs, teares, and such like, let your harmonie be sad and doleful, so that if you would haue your musicke signifie hardnes, cruelty or other such affects, you must cause the partes proceede in their motions without the halfe note, that is, you must cause them proceed by whole notes, sharpe thirdes, sharpe sixes and such like (when I speake of sharpe or flat thirdes, and sixes, you must vnderstand that they ought to bee so to the base) you may also vse Cadences bound with the fourth or seuenth, which being iu long notes will exasperat the harmonie: but when you woulde exprrsse a lamentable passion, then must you vse motions proceeding by halfe notes. Flat thirdes and flat sixes, which of their nature are sweet, speciallie being taken in the true tune and naturall aire with discretion and iudgement. but those cordes so taken as I haue saide before are not the sole and onely cause of expressing those passions, but also the motions which the parts make in singinng do greatly helpe, which motions are either naturall or accidental. The naturall motions are those which are naturallie made betwixt the keyes without the mixture of any accidentall signe or corde, be it either flat or sharpe, and these motions be more masculine causing in the song more virilitie then those accidentall cordes which are marked with these signes # b. which be in deede accidentall, and make the song as it were more effeminate and languishing then the other motions which make the song rude and sounding: so that those naturale motions may serue to expresse those effectes of crueltie, tyrannie, bitternesse and such others, and those accidentall motions may fitlie expresse the passions of griefe, weeping, sighes, sorrowes, sobbes, and such like.
[-178-] Also, if the subiect be light, you must cause your musicke go in motions, which carrie with them a celeritie or quicknesse of time, as minimes, crotchets and quauers: if it be lamentable, the note must goe in slow and heauie motions, as semibreues, breues and such like, and of all this you shall finde examples euerie where in the workes of the good musicians. Moreouer, you must haue a care that when your matter signifieth ascending, high heauen, and such like, you make your musicke ascend: and by the contrarie where your ditty speaketh of descending lowenes, depth, hell, and others such, you must make your musicke descend, for as it will be thought a great absurditie to talke of heauen and point downwarde to the earth: so will it be counted great incongruitie if a musician vpon the wordes hee ascended into heauen shoulde cause his musicke descend, or by the contrarie vpon the descension should cause his musicke to ascend. We must also haue a care so to applie the notes to the wordes, as in singing there be no barbarisme committed: that is, that we cause no sillable which is by nature short be expressed by manie notes or one long note, nor no long sillable bee expressed with a shorte note, but in this fault do the practitioners erre more grosselie, then in any other, for you shall find few songes wherein the penult sillables of these words, Dominus, Angelus, filius, miraculum, gloria, and such like are not expressed with a long note, yea many times with a whole dossen of notes, and though one should speak of fortie he should not say much amisse, which is a grosse barbarisme, and yet might be easelie amended. We must also take heed of seperating any part of a word from another by a rest, as som dunces haue not slackt to do, yea one whose name is Iohannes Dunstaple (an ancient English author) hath not onlie deuided the sentence, but in the verie middle of a word hath made two long rests thus, in a song of foure parts vpon these words, Nesciens virgo mater virum.
[Morley, Introduction, 178; text: Ipsum regem angelorum sola virgo lactabat.] [MOR1597C 42GF]
For these be his owne notes and wordes, which is one of the greatest absurdities which I haue seene committed in the dittying of musicke, but to shewe you in a worde the vse of the rests in the dittie, you may set a crotchet or minime rest aboue a coma or a colon, but a longer rest then that of a minime you may not make till the sentence bee perfect, and then at a full point you may set what number of rests you will. Also when you would expresse sighes, you may vse the crotchet or minime rest at the most, but a longer then a minime rest you may not vse, because it will rather seeme a breth taking then a sigh, an example whereof you may see in a very good song of Stephano venturi to fiue voices vpon this dittie quell'aura che spirando a Paura mia? for comming to the worde sospiri (that is sighes) he giueth it such a natural grace by breaking a minime into a crotchet rest and a crotchet, that the excellency of his iudgment in expressing and gracing his dittie doth therein manifestlie appeare. Lastlie, you must not make a close (especiallie a full close) till the full sence of the words be perfect: so that keeping these rules you shall haue a perfect agreement, and as it were a harmonicall concent betwixt the matter and the musicke, and likewise you shall bee perfectly vnderstoode of the auditor what you sing, which is one of the highest degrees of praise which a musicion in dittying can attaine vnto or wish for. Many other pettie obseruations there be which of force must be left out in this place, and remitted to the discretion and good iudgement of the skilful composer.
Polymathes. Now (sir) seeing you haue so largely discoursed of framing a fit musicke to the nature of a dittie, we must earnestly intreat you, (if it be not a thing too troblesome) to discourse vnto vs at large all the kinds of musicke, with the obseruations which are to be kept in composing of euerie one of them.
Master. Although by that which I haue alreadie shewed you, you might with studie collect the nature of all kindes of musicke, yet to ease you of that paine, I will satisfie your request [-179-] though not at full, yet with so many kinds as I can call to memorie: for it wil be a hard matter vpon the suddaine to remember them al, and therfore (to go to the matter roundly, and without circumstances) [Deuision of musicke. in marg.] I say that all musicke for voices (for onlie of that kinde haue we hetherto spoken) is made either for a dittie or without a dittie, if it bee with a dittie, it is either graue or light, the graue ditties they haue stil kept in one kind, so that whatsoeuer musicke bee made vpon it, is comprehended vnder the name of a Motet: [A motet. in marg.] a Motet is properlie a song made for the church, either vpon some hymne or Antheme, or such like, and that name I take to haue beene giuen to that kinde of musicke in opposition to the other which they called Canto fermo, and we do commonlie call plainsong, for as nothing is more opposit to standing and firmnes then motion, so did they giue the Motet that name of mouing, because it is in a manner quight contrarie to the other, which after some sort, and in respect of the other standeth still. This kind of al others which are made on a ditty, requireth most art, and moueth and causeth most strange effects in the hearer, being aptlie framed for the dittie and well expressed by the singer, for it will draw the auditor (and speciallie the skilfull auditor) into a deuout and reuerent kind of consideration of him for whose praise it was made. But I see not what passions or motions it can stirre vp, being sung as most men doe commonlie sing it: that is, leauing out the dittie and singing onely the bare note, as it were a musicke made onelie for instruments, which will in deed shew the nature of the musicke, but neuer carrie the spirit and (as it were) that liuelie soule which the dittie giueth, but of this enough. And to returne to the expressing of the ditty, the matter is now come to that state that though a song be neuer so wel made and neuer so aptlie applied to the words, yet shal you hardlie find singers to express it as it ought to be, for most of our church men, (so they can crie louder in the quier then their fellowes) care for no more, whereas by the contrarie, they ought to studie howe to vowell and sing cleane, expressing their wordes with deuotion and passion, whereby to draw the hearer as it were in chaines of gold by the eares to the consideration of holie things. But this for the most part, you shall find amongst them, that let them continue neuer so long in the church, yea though it were twentie yeares, they will neuer studie to sing better then they did the first day of their preferment to that place, so that it should seeme that hauing obtained the liuing which they sought for, they haue little or no care at all either of their owne credit, or well discharging of that dutie whereby they haue their maintenance. But to returne to our Motets, if you compose in this kind, you must cause your harmonie to carrie a maiestie taking discordes and bindings so often as you canne, but let it be in long notes, for the nature of it will not beare short notes and quicke motions, which denotate a kind of wantonnes.
This musicke (a lamentable case) being the chiefest both for art and vtilitie, is notwithstanding little esteemed, and in small request with the greatest number of those who most highly seeme to fauor art, which is the cause that the composers of musick who otherwise would follow the depth of their skill, in this kinde are compelled for lacke of maecenates to put on another humor, and follow that kind wherunto they haue neither beene brought vp, nor yet (except so much as they can learne by seeing other mens works in an vnknown tounge) doe perfectlie vnderstand the nature of it, such be the newfangled opinions of our countrey men, who will highlie esteeme whatsoeuer commeth from beyond the seas, and speciallie from Italie, be it neuer so simple, contemning that which is done at home though it be neuer so excellent. Nor yet is that fault of esteeming so highlie the light musicke particular to vs in England, but generall through the world, which is the cause that the musitions in all countries and chiefely in Italy, haue imploied most of their studies in it: whereupon a learned man of our time writing vpon Cicero his dreame of Scipio saith, that the musicians of this age, in steed of drawing the minds of men to the consideration of heauen and heauenlie thinges, doe by the contrarie set wide open the gates of hell, causing such as delight in the exercise of their art tumble headlong into perdition.
This much for Motets, vnder which I comprehend all graue and sober musicke, the light [-180-] musicke [Light musicke. in marg.] hath beene of late more deepely diued into, so that there is no vanitie which in it hath not beene followed to the full, but the best kind of it is termed Madrigal, [A Madrigal in marg.] a word for the etymologie of which I can giue no reason, yet vse sheweth that it is a kinde of musicke made vpon songs and sonnets, such as Petrarcha and many Poets of our time haue excelled in. This kind of musicke weare not so much disalowable if the Poets who compose the ditties would abstaine from some obscenities, which all honest eares abhor, and sometime from blasphemies to such as this, ch'altro di te iddio non voglio which no man (at least who hath any hope of saluation) can sing without trembling. As for the musick it is next vnto the Motet, the most artificiall and to men of vnderstanding most delightfull. If therefore you will compose in this kind you must possesse your selfe with an amorus humor (for in no composition shal you proue admirable except you put on, and possesse your selfe wholy with that vaine wherein you compose) so that you must in your musicke be wauering like the wind, sometime wanton, somtime drooping, sometime graue and staide, otherwhile effeminat, you may maintaine points and reuert them, vse triplaes and shew the verie vttermost of your varietie, and the more varietie you shew the better shal you please. In this kind our age excelleth, so that if you would imitate any, I would appoint you these for guides: Alfonso ferrabosco for deepe skill, Luca Marenzo for good ayre and fine inuention, Horatto Vecchi, Stephano Venturi, Ruggiero Giouanelli, and Iohn Croce, with diuers others who are verie good, but not so generallie good as these. [Canzonets in marg.] The seconde degree of grauetie in this light musicke is giuen to Canzonets that is little shorte songs (wherin little arte can be shewed being made in straines, the beginning of which is some point lightlie touched, and euerie straine repeated except the middle) which is in composition of the musick a counterfet of the Madrigal. [Neapolitans in marg.] Of the nature of these are the Neapolitans or Canzone a la Napolitana, different from them in nothing sauing in name, so that whosoeuer knoweth the nature of the one must needs know the other also, and if you thinke them worthie of your paines to compose them, you haue a patterne of them in Luco Marenzo and Iohn Feretti, who as it should seeme hath imploied most of all his study that way. [Villenelle. in marg.] The last degree of grauitie (if they haue any at all is giuen to the villanelle or countrie songs which are made only for the ditties sake, for so they be aptly set to expresse the nature of the ditty, the composer (though he were neuer so excellent) will not sticke to take many perfect cordes of one kind together, for in this kind they thinke it no fault (as being a kind of keeping decorum) to make a clownish musicke to a clownish matter, and though many times the dittie be fine enough yet because it carrieth that name villanella they take those disallowances as being good enough for plow and cart. [Ballette. in marg.] There is also another kind more light then this, which they tearme Ballette or daunces, and are songs, which being song to a dittie may likewise be daunced: these and all other kinds of light musicke sauing the Madrigal are by a generall name called ayres. There be also an other kind of Ballets, commonlie called fa las, the first set of that kind which I haue seene was made by Gastaldi, if others haue laboured in the same field, I know not but a slight kind of musick it is, and as I take it deuised to be daunced to voices. [Vinate in marg.] The slightest kind of musick (if they deserue the name of musicke) are the vinate or drincking songes, for as I said before, there is no kinde of vanitie whereunto they haue not applied some musicke or other, as they haue framde this to be sung in their drinking, but that vice being so rare among the Italians, and Spaniards: I rather thinke that musicke to haue bin deuised by or for the Germains (who in swarmes do flocke to the Vniuersitie of Italie) rather then for the Italians themselues. [Iustinianes. in marg.] There is likewise a kind of songs )which I had almost forgotten) called Iustinianas, and are al written in the Bergamasca language a wanton and rude kinde of musicke it is, and like enough to carrie the name of some notable Curtisan of the Citie of Bergama, for no man will denie that Iustiniana is the name of a woman. [Pastorelle passamezos with ditties in marg.] There be also many other kindes of songes which the Italians make as Pasterellas and Passamesos with a dittie and such like, which it would be both tedious and superfluons to delate vnto you in words, therfore I will leaue to speake any more of them, and begin to declare vnto you those kinds which they make without ditties. [Fantasies. in marg.] The most principall [-181-] and chiefest kind of musicke which is made without a dittie is the fantasie, that is, when a musician taketh a point at his pleasure, and wresteth and turneth it as he list, making either much or little of it according as shall seeme best in his own conceit. In this may more art be showne then in any other musicke, because the composer is tide to nothing but that he may adde, deminish, and alter at his pleasure. And this kind will beare any allowances whatsoeuer tolerable in other musick, except changing the ayre and leauing the key, which in fantasie may neuer bee suffered. Other thinges you may vse at your pleasure, as bindings with discordes, quicke motions, slow motions, proportions, and what you list. Likewise, this kind of musick is with them who practise instruments of parts in greatest vse, but for voices it is but sildome vsed. [Pauens. in marg.] The next in grauety and goodnes vnto this is called a pauane, a kind of staide musicke, ordained for graue dauncing, and most commonlie made of three straines, whereof euerie straine is plaid or song twice, a straine they make to containe 8. 12. or 16. semibreues as they list, yet fewer then eight I haue not seene in any pauan. In this you may not so much insist in following the point as in a fantasie: but it shal be inough to touch it once and so away to some close. Also in this you must cast your musicke by foure, so that if you keepe that rule it is no matter howe many foures you put in your straine, for it will fall out well enough in the ende, the arte of dauncing being come to that perfection that euerie reasonable daunce will make measure of no measure, so that it is no great matter of what number you make your strayne. [Galliards. in marg.] After euery pauan vsually set a galliard (that is, a kind of musicke we made out of the other) causing it go by a measure, which the learned cal trochaieam rationem, consisting of a long and short stroke successiuelie, for as the foote trochaus consisteth of one sillable of two times, and another of one time, so is the first of these two strokes double to the latter: the first beeing in time of a semibrefe, and the latter of a minime. This is a lighter and more stirring kinde of dauncing then the pauane consisting of the same number of straines, and looke howe manie foures of semibreues, you put in the straine of your pauan, so many times sixe minimes must you put in the straine of your galliard. The Italians make their galliardes (which they tearme saltarelli) plaine, and frame ditties to them, which in their mascaradoes they sing and daunce, and many times without any instruments at all, but in steed of instrumentes they haue Curtisans disguised in mens apparell, who sing and daunce to their owne songes. [Almanes. in marg.] The Alman is a more heauie daunce then this <(>fitlie representing the nature of the people, whose name it carieth) so that no extraordinarie motions are vsed in dauncing of it. It is made of strains, somtimes two, sometimes three, and euerie straine is made by foure, but you must marke that the foure of the pauan measure is in dupla proportion to the foure of the Alman measure, so that as the vsuall Pauane conteineth in a straine the time of sixteene semibreues, so the vsuall Almaine containeth the time of eight, and most commonlie in short notes. [Bransles. in marg.] Like vnto this is the French bransle (which they cal bransle simple) which goeth somwhat round in time then this, otherwise the measure is all one. The bransle de poictou or bransle double is more quick in time, (as being in a rounde Tripla) but the straine is longer, containing most vsually twelue whole strokes. [Voltes courantes. in marg.] Like vnto this (but more light) be the voltes and courantes which being both of a measure, or notwithstanding daunced after sundrie fashions, the volte rising and leaping, the courante trauising and running, in which measure also our countrey daunce is made, [Countrey daunces. in marg.] though it be daunced aftet another forme then any of the former. All these be made in straines, either two or three as shall seeme best to the maker, but the courant hath twice so much in a straine, as the English country daunce. There bee also many other kindes of daunces (as hornepypes Iygges and infinite more) which I cannot nominate vnto you, but knowing these the rest can not but be vnderstood, as being one with some of these which I haue alreadie told you. [Diuers men diuersly affected to diuers kindes of musicke. in marg.] And as there be diuers kinds of musicke, so will some mens humors be more enclined to one kind then to another. As some wil be good descanters, and excell in descant, and yet wil be but bad composers, others will be good composers and but bad descanters extempore vpon a plainesong, some will excel in composition of Motets, and being set or inioyned to make a Madrigal [-182-] wil be very far from the nature of it, likewise some will be so possessed with the Madrigal humor, as no man may be compared with them in that kind, and yet being enioyned to compose a motet or some sad and heauy musicke, wil be far from the excellencie which they had in their own vaine. Lastlie, some will be so excellent in points of voluntary vpon an instrument as one would thinke it vnpossible for him not to be a good composer, and yet being inioynd to make a song wil do it so simplie as one would thinke a scholler of one yeares practise might easely compose a better. And I dare boldly affirme, that looke which is hee who thinketh himselfe the best descanter of all his neighbors, enioyne him to make but a scottish Iygge, he will grossely erre in the true nature and qualitie of it.
[The conclusion of the dialogue. in marg.] Thus haue you briefelie those preceptes which I thinke necessarie and sufficient for you, whereby to vnderstand the composition of 3. 4. 5. or more parts, whereof I might haue spoken much more, but to haue donne it without being tedious vnto you, that is, to mee a great doubt seeing there is no precept nor rule omitted, which may be any way profitable vnto you in the practise. Seeing therefore you lacke nothing of perfect musicians, but only vse to make you prompt and quicke in your compositions, and that practise must only bee done in time, aswell by your selues as with me, and seeing night is already begun, I thinke it best to returne, you to your lodgings and I to my booke.
Polymathes. Tomorrow we must be busied making prouision for our iourney to the Vniuersitie, so that we cannot possiblie see you againe before our departure, therfore we must at this time both take our leaue of you, and intreat you that at euery conuenient occasion and your leasure you wil let vs heare from you.
Master. I hope before such time as you haue sufficientlie ruminated and digested those precepts which I haue giuen you, that you shal heare from me in a new kind of matter.
Philomathes. I will not onely looke for that, but also pray you that we may haue some songes which may serue both to direct vs in our compositions, and by singing them recreate vs after our more serious studies.
Master. As I neuer denied my schollers any reasonable request, so wil I satisfie this of yours, therefore take these scrolles, wherein there be some graue, and some light, some of more parts and some of fewer, and according as you shall haue occasion vse them.
Philomathes. I thanke you for them, and neuer did miserable vsurer more carefullie keepe his coine, (which is his only hope and felicitie) then I shall these.
Polymathes. If it were possible to do any thing which might counteruaile that which you haue don for vs, we would shew you the like fauour in doing as much for you, but since that is vnpossible we can no otherwise requite your curtesie then by thankful minds and dewtiful reuerence which (as all schollers do owe vnto their maisters) you shall haue of vs in such ample maner as when we begin to be vndutifull, we wish that the worlde may know that wee cease to bee honest.
Master. Farewel, and the Lord of Lords direct you in al wisdom and learning, that when herafter you shall bee admitted to the handling of the weighty affaires of the common wealth, you may discreetly and worthely discharge the offices whereunto you shal be called.
Polymathes. The same Lorde preserue and direct you in all your actions, and keepe perfect your health, which I feare is already declining.
THVS hast thou (gentle Reader) my booke after that simple sort, as I thought most conuenient for the learner, in which if they dislike the words (as bare of eloquence and lacking fine phrases to allure the minde of the Reader) let them consider that ornari res ipsa negat contenta doceri, that the matter it selfe denieth to bee set out with flourish, but is contented to bee deliuered after a plaine and common maner, and that my intent in this booke hath beene to teach musicke, not eloquence, also that the scholler wil enter in the reading of it for the matter not for the words. Moreouer there is no man of discretion but will thinke him foolish who in the precepts of an arte wil look for filed speech, rethorical sentences, that being of all matters which a man can intreate of, the most humble [-183-] and with most simplicitie and sinceritie to be handled, and to decke a lowlie matter with loftie and swelling, speech wil be to put simplicitie in plumes of feathers and a Carter in cloth of golde. But if any man of skill (for by such I loue to be censured, contemning the iniuries of the ignorant, and making as little account of them as the moone doth of the barking of a dog) shall thinke me either defectuous or faulty in the necessarie precepts, let him boldlie set downe in print such things as I haue either left out or falsely set downe, which if it be done without railing or biting words against me, I wil not only take for no disgrace, but by the contrarie esteeme of it as of a great good turne as one as willing to learne that which I know not, as to instruct others of that which I know: for I am not of their mind who enuie the glorie of other men, but by the contrarie giue them free course to run in the same field of praise which I haue done, not scorning to be taught, or make my profit of their works, so it be without their praeiudice, thinking it praise enough for me, that I haue bin the first who in our tongue haue put the practise of musick in this forme: And that I may say with Horace, Libera per vacuum posui vestigia princeps, that I haue broken the Ice for others. And if any man shal cauil at my vsing of the authorities of other men, and thinke thereby to discredit the booke, I am so far from thinking that any disparagement to me that I rather thinke it a greater credit. For if in diuinity, Law, and other sciences it be not only tollerable but commendable to cite the authorities of doctors for confirmation of their opinions, why should it not bee likewise lawfull for me to doe that in mine Arte which they commonlie vse in theirs, and confirme my opinion by the authorities of those who haue bin no lesse famous in musicke then either Paulus, Vlpianus, Bartolus or Baldus, (who haue made so many asses ride on foote clothes) haue beene in law. As for the examples they be all mine own, but such of them as be in controuerted matters, though I was counsailed to take them of others, yet to auoid the wrangling of the enuious I made them my selfe, confirmed by the authorities of the best authors extant. And where as some may obiect that in the first part there is nothing which hath not already beene handled by some others, if they would indifferently iudge they might answere themselues with this saying of the comicall Poet, nihil dictum quod non dictum prius, and in this matter though I had made it but a bare translation, yet could I not haue been iustly blamed, seeing I haue set downe such matters as haue beene hetherto vnknowne to many, who otherwise are reasonable good musicians, but such as know least wil be readiest to condemne. And though the first part of the booke be of that nature that it coulde not haue beene set downe but with that which others haue doone before, yet shall you not finde in any one booke all those things which there be handled, but I haue had such an especial care in collecting them that the most common things, which euerie where are to be had be but slenderlie touched. Other things which are as necessary and not so common are more largely handled, and al so plainly and after so familiar a sort deliuered, as none (how ignorant soeuer) can iustly complaine of obscurity. But some haue beene so foolish as to say that I haue emploied much trauell in vaine in seeking out the depth of those moodes and other things which I haue explained, and haue not stucke to say that they be in no vse, and that I can write no more then they know already. Surely what they know already I know not, but if they account the moodes, ligatures, pricks of deuision and alteration, augmentation, diminution and proportions, things of no vse, they may as well account the whole arte of musicke of no vse, seeing that in the knowledge of them consisteth the whole or greatest part of the knowledge of pricksong. And although it be true that the proportions haue not such vse in musicke in that forme as they be nowe vsed, but that the practise may be perfect without them, yet seeing they haue beene in common vse with the musicians of former time, it is necessarie for vs to know them, if we meane to make any profit of their works. But those men who think they know enough already, when (God knoweth) they can scarce sing their part with the wordes, be like vnto those who hauing once superficiallie red the Tenors of Littleton or Iustinians institutes, thinke that they haue perfectlie learned the whole law, and then being inioyned to discuss a case, do at length perceiue their own ignorance and beare the shame of their falsely conceaued opinions But to such kind of men I do not wright, for as a man hauing brought a horse to the water cannot compel him to drink except he list, so may I write a booke to such a man but cannot compell him to reade it: But this difference is betwixt the horse and the man, that the horse though hee drinke not will notwithstanding returne quietly with his keeper to the stable, and not kicke at him for bringing him fourth: our man by the contrarie will not onelie not reade that which might instruct him, but also wil backbite and maligne him, who hath for his and other mens benefit vndertaken great labor and endured much paine, more then for any priuat gaine or commoditie in particular redounding to himself. And though in the first part I haue boldlie taken that which in particular I cannot challenge to be mine owne, yet in the second part I haue abstained from it as much as is possible, for except the cords of descant, and that common rule of prohibited consequence of perfect cordes, there is nothing in it which I haue seene set downe in writing by others. And if in the Canons I shall seeme to haue too much affected breuity, you must knowe that I haue purposely left that part but slenderly handled, both because the scholler may by his own studie become an accomplished musicion, hauing perfectly practised those fewe rules which be there set down, as also because I do shortly looke for the publication in print, of those neuer enough praised trauailes of master Waterhouse, whose flowing and most sweet springs in that kind may be sufficient to quench the thirst of the most insaciate scholler whatsoeuer. But if mine opinion may be in any estimation with him, I would counsaile him that when he doth publish his labours, he would set by euery seuerall way some words whereby the learner may perceaue it to be a Canon, and how one of the parts is brought out of another (for many of them which I haue seene be so intricate as being prickt in seuerall books one shall hardly perceaue it to be any Canon at al): so shal he by his labors both most benefit his Countrey in shewing the inuention of such variety, and reape most commendations to himselfe in that he hath beene the first who hath inuented it. And as for the last part of the booke there is nothing in it which is not mine owne, and in that place I haue vsed so great facilitie as none (how simple soeuer) but may at the first reading conceaue the true meaning of the words, and this I haue so much affected, because that part wil be both most vsual and most profitable to the young practicioners, who (for the most part) know no more learning then to write their own names. Thus hast thou the whole forme of my booke, which if thou accept in that good meaning wherein it was written, I haue hit the marke which I shot at: if otherwise accept my good wil, who would haue don better if I could. But if thou thinke the whole arte not worthy the pains of any good wit or learning, though I might answere as Alfonso king of Aragon did to one of his Courtiers (who saying that the knowledge of sciences was not requisite in a noble man, the king gaue him onelie this answere questa é voce dun bue non dun huomo. Yet will not I take vpon me to say so, but only for remouing of that opinion, set downe the authorities of some of the best learned of auncient time, and to begin with Plato, he in the seuenth booke of his common wealth doth so admire musicke as that he calleth it [daimonion pragma] a heauenly thing, [kai chrestimon pros ten tou kalou te kai agathou zetesin] and profitable for the seeking out of that which is good and honest. Also in the first book of his Lawes he saith that [-f.Bb1v-] musick cannot be intreated or taught without the knowledge of all other sciences, which if it be true, how far hath the musicke of that time beene different from ours, which by the negligence of the professors is almost fallen into the nature of a mechanicall arte, rather then reckoned in amongst other sciences. The next authoritie I may take from Aristophanes who though he many times scoffe at other sciences, yet tearmeth he musicke [egkuklopaidiean], a perfect knowledge of al sciences and disciplines. But the Authorities of Aristoxenus Ptolomaeus, and Seuerinus Boethius, who haue painefully deliuered the arte to vs, may be sufficient to cause the best wits think it worthy their trauel, specially of Boethius who being by birth noble and most excellent well versed in Diuinity, Philosophy, Law, Mathematicks Poetry, and matters of estate, did notwithstanding write more of musick then of al the other mathematical sciences, so that it may be iustly said, that if it had not beene for him the knowledge of musicke had not yet come into our Westerne part of the world. The Greeke tongue lying as it were dead vnder the barbarisme of the Gothes and Hunnes, and musicke buried in the bowels of the Greeke works of Ptolomaeus and Aristoxenus, the one of which as yet hath neuer come to light, but lies in written copies in some Bibliothekes of Italy, the other hath beene set out in print, but the copies are euery where so scant and hard to come by, that many doubt if he haue beene set out or no. And these few authorities wil serue to diswade the discreet from the afore named opinion, (because few discreete men wil hold it) as for others many will be so selfe willed in their opinions, that though a man should bring all the arguments and authorities in the world against it, yet should he not perswade them to leaue it. But if any man shall thinke me prolix and tedious in this place, I must for that point craue pardon, and wil here make an end, wishing vnto all men that discretion as to measure so to other men as they would bee measured themselues.
[Morley, Introduction, f.Bb1v; text: Cantus, Quatuor voces, Basis. Heu Eheu sustulerunt dominum meum et posueunt eum Nescio vbi. sustulerunnt] [MOR1597C 42GF]
[-f.Bb2r-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb2r; text: Altus. Tenor. Basis. A Quatuor voces, Heu Eheu sustulerunt dominum meum et posuerunt eum Nescio vbi. posuernut] [MOR1597C 43GF]
[-f.Bb2v-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb2v; text: Canto. Alto. Canzonetta. A 4. voci. ARd'ogn hora il cor lasso e mai non more Ahi ch'il foco d'amor, non e mortale Ea spegner il su'ardor acqua non vale.] [MOR1597C 44GF]
[-f.Bb3r-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb3r; text: Tenor. Basis. Canzonetta. A 4. voci. ARd'ogn hora il cor lasso e mai non more Ahi ch'il foco d'amor non e mortale Ea spegner il su'ardor acqua non vale.] [MOR1597C 45GF]
[-f.Bb3v-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb3v; text: Canto. Alto. Canzonetta. A 4. voci. PErche tormi il cor mio per lasciarlo in oblio Lo fa perche l'ardore, Ch'hain se nascosto non t'accenda il core.] [MOR1597C 46GF]
[-f.Bb4r-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb4r; text: Tenor. Basso. Canzonetta. A 4. voci. PErche tormi il cor mio per lasciarlo in oblio Lo fa perche l'ardore Ch'hain se nascosto non t'accenda il core.] [MOR1597C 47GF]
[-f.Bb4v-] [Morley, Introduction,f.Bb4v; Cantus. Tenor. Basis. A 5. voces, O Amica mea Sunt capilli tui Sicut greges caprarum quae ascenderunt de monte galaad] [MOR1597C 48GF]
[-f.Bb5r-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb5r; text: Altus. Quintus. Basis. A 5. voces, O amica mea Sunt capilli tui Sicut greges caprarum quae ascenderunt de monte galaad.] [MOR1597C 49GF]
[-f.Bb5v-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb5v: text: Tenor. Quintus. Basis. Quinque vocum. Secunda pars. DEntes tui Sicut greges tonsarum quae ascenderunt de lauacro. que] [MOR1597C 50GF]
[-f.Bb6r-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb6r; text: Cantus. Altus. Basis. Quinque voces. Secunda pars. DEntes tui Sicut greges tonsarum quae ascenderunt de lauacro. que] [MOR1597C 51GF]
[-f.Bb6v-] [Morley, Introduction, f.Bb6v: text: Cantus. Altus. Basus. A 3 voces. O sleepe fond fancie, My head alas thou tyrest, with false delight of that which thou desirest, Sleepe sleepe I say saie fond fancie, and leaue my thoughts molesting, Thy masters head hath neede of sleepe and resting.] [MOR1597C 52GF]
Return to the TME home page